Learning to cope with tinnitus is often how you manage it. To help tune it out you keep the television on. And loud music at bars is making your tinnitus worse so you stay away from going dancing. You consult with experts constantly to try out new therapies and new strategies. You simply fold tinnitus into your daily life eventually.
Tinnitus has no cure so you feel powerless. But that may be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology indicates that an effective and permanent cure for tinnitus could be coming soon.
You’re experiencing tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or sometimes other noises) with no apparent cause. A problem that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, tinnitus is very common.
It’s also a symptom, in general, and not a cause unto itself. In other words, something triggers tinnitus – there’s an underlying issue that creates tinnitus symptoms. These root causes can be tough to diagnose and that’s one reason why a cure is elusive. Tinnitus symptoms can occur due to a number of reasons.
Even the link between tinnitus and loss of hearing is unclear although the majority of people connect the two. There is some connection but there are some people who have tinnitus and don’t have any loss of hearing.
Inflammation: a New Culprit
The new study published in PLOS Biology detailed a study performed by Dr. Shaowen Bao, an associate professor of physiology at the Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscon. Dr. Bao performed experiments on mice who had tinnitus caused by noise-induced hearing loss. And a new culprit for tinnitus was revealed by her and her team: inflammation.
Inflammation was seen around the brain centers responsible for hearing when scans were performed on these mice. As inflammation is the body’s response to damage, this finding does indicate that noise-induced loss of hearing might be causing some harm we don’t completely understand yet.
But a new form of approach is also opened up by these results. Because dealing with inflammation is something we understand how to do (in general). The tinnitus symptoms went away when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at a minimum, those symptoms were no longer observable.
So is There a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
If you take a long enough view, you can probably look at this research and see how, one day, there may definitely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine that–rather than investing in these various coping mechanisms, you can just take a pill in the morning and keep your tinnitus under control.
There are some obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- There are several causes for tinnitus; Whether any particular forms of tinnitus are associated with inflammation is still unclear.
- All new approaches need to be confirmed to be safe; it may take a while to identify specific side effects, complications, or challenges related to these specific medications that block inflammation.
- These experiments were first performed on mice. This strategy isn’t yet approved for humans and it could be a while before it is.
So it could be a long way off before we have a pill for tinnitus. But at least it’s now possible. That should offer anybody who has tinnitus substantial hope. And, clearly, this strategy in managing tinnitus is not the only one currently being studied. Every new discovery, every new bit of knowledge, brings that cure for tinnitus just a bit closer.
What Can You do Today?
You could have hope for an eventual tinnitus pill but that isn’t going to offer you any comfort for your constant buzzing or ringing right now. There are modern therapies for tinnitus that can produce real results, even if they don’t necessarily “cure” the underlying issue.
Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus sounds, oftentimes utilizing noise canceling headphones or cognitive therapies is what modern techniques are trying to do. A cure could be a number of years off, but that doesn’t mean you should cope with tinnitus alone or unaided. Spending less time being stressed about the buzzing or ringing in your ears and more time doing what you love is the reason why you should let us help you find a treatment that works for you. Schedule your appointment right away.