What Causes Tinnitus? Here is a New Study

Man suffering from ringing in the ears reads about new research into the causes of tinnitus.

When you have tinnitus, you learn to deal with it. To help tune it out you keep the television on. You avoid going dancing because the loud music at the bar causes your tinnitus to get worse for days. You’re constantly trying new therapies and strategies with your hearing care expert. Eventually, your tinnitus simply becomes something you work into your everyday way of life.

Tinnitus has no cure so you feel powerless. Changes may be coming, however. New research published in PLOS Biology suggests that an reliable and permanent cure for tinnitus could be coming.

Causes of Tinnitus

You’re suffering from tinnitus if you hear a ringing or buzzing (or in some cases other noises) with no apparent cause. A condition that affects over 50 million people in the United States alone, tinnitus is incredibly common.

It’s also a symptom, in general, and not a cause in and of itself. Simply put, tinnitus is triggered by something else – tinnitus symptoms are the result of some underlying concern. One of the reasons why a “cure” for tinnitus is evasive is that these underlying causes can be challenging to narrow down. There are numerous possible causes for tinnitus symptoms.

Even the link between tinnitus and hearing loss is uncertain though the majority of people associate the two. There’s a relationship, certainly, but not all people who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss (and vice versa).

Inflammation: a New Culprit

The new research 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 what she and her team observed indicates a new tinnitus culprit: inflammation.

Based on the tests and scans performed on these mice, inflammation was observed around the parts of the brain in control of hearing. These Scans indicate that noise-induced hearing loss is causing some unidentified injury because inflammation is the body’s reaction to damage.

But a new kind of approach is also opened up by these results. Because we know (generally speaking) how to deal with inflammation. The tinnitus symptoms disappear when the mice were treated for inflammation. Or, at least, those symptoms weren’t observable any longer

So is There a Pill to Treat Tinnitus?

One day there will most likely be a pill for tinnitus. Imagine if keeping your tinnitus under control was a simple matter of taking your morning medicine and you could escape from all of the coping mechanisms you have to do now.

That’s certainly the goal, but there are different substantial obstacles in the way:

  • We still need to prove if any new method is safe; these inflammation blocking medications could have unsafe side effects that still need to be identified.
  • There are a number of causes for tinnitus; Whether any specific types of tinnitus are associated with inflammation is still not certain.
  • To start with, these experiments were performed on mice. This method is not yet approved for people and it could be a while before it is.

So, a pill for tinnitus may be a long way off. But it isn’t impossible. That should offer anyone who has tinnitus significant hope. And other solutions are also being researched. That cure gets closer and closer with every bit of practical knowledge and every new finding.

Ca Anything be Done Now?

If you have a continual buzzing or ringing in your ears today, the promise of a far off pill could give you hope – but not necessarily relief. Modern treatments may not “cure” your tinnitus but they do produce real results.

Being able to tune out or ignore tinnitus sounds, sometimes using noise canceling headphones or cognitive therapies is what modern methods are trying to do. You don’t have to wait for a cure to find relief, you can get help coping with your tinnitus right now. Spending less time stressing about the ringing or buzzing in your ears and more time doing what you love is the reason why you should let us help you discover a therapy that works for you. Contact us for a consultation now.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.