Learning to cope with tinnitus is often how you manage it. You leave the television on to help you tune out the constant ringing. You skip going dancing because the loudness of the bar makes your tinnitus worse for days after. You’re regularly trying new therapies and strategies with your specialist. Eventually, your tinnitus just becomes something you fold into your everyday way of life.
Tinnitus doesn’t have a cure so you feel helpless. But that could be changing. New research published in PLOS Biology indicates that an reliable and permanent cure for tinnitus might be coming soon.
Causes of Tinnitus
You’re dealing with tinnitus if you hear a buzzing or ringing (or at times other sounds) with no apparent cause. A condition that impacts over 50 million people in the United States alone, tinnitus is very common.
And it’s not a cause itself but an indication of something else. Simply put, tinnitus is caused by something else – there’s a root problem that brings about tinnitus symptoms. These underlying causes can be hard to diagnose and that’s one reason why a cure is challenging. There are many possible reasons for tinnitus symptoms.
It is true, the majority of people connect tinnitus to hearing loss of some type, but even that connection is uncertain. There is some link but some people have tinnitus and don’t have any loss of hearing.
A New Culprit: Inflammation
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 triggered by noise-induced loss of hearing. And what she and her team discovered suggests a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.
Inflammation was seen in the brain centers used for hearing when scans were performed on these mice. These Scans indicate that noise-induced hearing loss is contributing to some unidentified damage because inflammation is the body’s response to damage.
But this finding of inflammation also leads to the opportunity for a new form of treatment. Because dealing with inflammation is something we know how to do (generally). When the mice were given medication that inhibited the observed inflammation response, the symptoms of tinnitus vanished. Or, at least, those symptoms were no longer observable.
So is There a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?
If you take a long enough viewpoint, you can definitely look at this research and see how, one day, there could definitely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine if keeping your tinnitus under control was a routine matter of taking your morning medication and you could avoid all of the coping mechanisms you have to do now.
There are a few obstacles but that is certainly the goal:
- There are several causes for tinnitus; Which particular types of tinnitus are connected to inflammation is still unclear.
- We still have to establish whether any new approach is safe; these inflammation blocking medications may have harmful side effects that could take some time to identify.
- These experiments were performed first on mice. This strategy is not yet approved for people and it might be some time before that happens.
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 anyone who has tinnitus significant hope. And other strategies are also being studied. That cure gets closer with every bit of knowledge and every new discovery.
What Can You do Today?
If you have a continual buzzing or ringing in your ears today, the potential of a far off pill may give you hope – but not necessarily relief. There are modern treatments for tinnitus that can give real results, even if they don’t necessarily “cure” the underlying problem.
Some strategies include noise-cancellation units or cognitive therapies manufactured to help you ignore the noises related to your tinnitus. You don’t need to wait for a cure to get relief, you can find help dealing with your tinnitus right now. Spending less time being stressed about the ringing or buzzing in your ears and more time doing what you love is the reason why you need to let us help you discover a therapy that works for you. Get in touch with us for a consultation today.