When you suffer from tinnitus, you learn to deal with it. You keep the television on to help you tune the constant ringing out. And loud music at bars is causing your hearing loss to get worse so you stay away from going dancing. You’re constantly trying new therapies and strategies with your hearing care expert. You simply fold tinnitus into your everyday life eventually.
Mainly, that’s because there’s no cure for tinnitus. But that may be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology shows that an reliable and permanent cure for tinnitus might be coming.
Tinnitus commonly manifests as a ringing or buzzing in the ear (although, tinnitus may be experienced as other noises also) that do not have an objective cause. A condition that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, it’s very common for people to suffer from tinnitus.
And it isn’t a cause itself but a symptom of some other problem. Simply put, something causes tinnitus – tinnitus symptoms are the result of some root problem. One of the reasons why a “cure” for tinnitus is evasive is that these underlying causes can be difficult to narrow down. There are numerous possible causes for tinnitus symptoms.
Even the connection between tinnitus and hearing loss is uncertain though the majority of people link the two. There is some connection but some people have tinnitus and don’t have any hearing loss.
Inflammation: a New Culprit
Dr. Shaowen Bao, who is associate professor of physiology at Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon has recently published research. Mice that had tinnitus triggered by noise induced loss of hearing were experimented on by Dr. Bao. And what she and her team found out indicates a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
According to the scans and tests carried out on these mice, inflammation was seen around the parts of the brain responsible for hearing. These tests reveal that noise-induced hearing loss is contributing to some unknown injury because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But a new type of treatment is also opened up by these results. Because dealing with inflammation is something we know how to do (generally). The tinnitus symptoms went away when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at a minimum, those symptoms weren’t observable any longer
So is There a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
If you take a patient enough view, you can definitely look at this research and see how, one day, there could easily be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–instead of counting on these various coping mechanisms, you can just take a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus under control.
There are a few obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- First off, these experiments were performed on mice. And there’s a long way to go before this particular strategy is safe and authorized for use on people.
- Not everybody’s tinnitus will happen the same way; Which specific forms of tinnitus are connected to inflammation is still unclear.
- All new approaches need to be confirmed to be safe; these inflammation blocking medications could have dangerous side effects that still need to be identified.
So, a pill to treat tinnitus may be a long way off. But at least now it’s possible. That should give anybody who has tinnitus considerable hope. And other solutions are also being studied. That cure gets closer and closer with every bit of practical knowledge and every new discovery.
What Can You do Today?
If you have a chronic ringing or buzzing in your ears today, the potential of a far off pill might give you hope – but probably not relief. There are current therapies for tinnitus that can deliver real results, even if they don’t necessarily “cure” the underlying issue.
Some techniques include noise-cancellation units or cognitive therapies created to help you ignore the sounds related to your tinnitus. You don’t need to wait for a cure to find relief, you can get help coping with your tinnitus now. Discovering a treatment that works can help you spend more time doing what you enjoy, and less time thinking about that buzzing or ringing in your ears. Contact us for a consultation today.