An article published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience reports, “Patients want their tinnitus loudness reduced and would prefer a pharmacological solution over other modalities.” However, it’s an unfortunate truth that there is no magic pill that can cure tinnitus. That said, there are ways to find relief.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a ringing, roaring, whistling, hissing, humming or buzzing sound heard in the ear that has no external source. Everyone experiences tinnitus differently – for some, it is soft and can only be heard in quiet environments, while for others it is loud and constantly debilitating.
What Causes Tinnitus?
There are many possible causes of tinnitus, including:
- Damage to sensory cells within the inner ear
- Ear infection
- Impacted earwax
- Ototoxic medications
- Head or neck injuries
- Meniere’s disease
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
- Acoustic neuroma
Why Isn’t There a Cure for Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a disease itself. That means it can only be cured of there is a cure for whatever is causing it, and if the underlying cause can even be identified. Unfortunately, in many cases, this isn’t possible.
Will There Ever Be a Cure for Tinnitus?
A research team at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Portland Medical Center are currently examining a new tinnitus treatment called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS is currently an FDA-approved treatment for depression, and researchers are hopeful it will also show benefit for tinnitus. Thus far, the trials have shown positive results and no adverse effects.
What Are the Current Treatment Options for Tinnitus?
Fortunately, there are treatment options available now that have been shown to be effective. These include:
- Hearing aids. These work by amplifying sounds in your environment to drown out the sounds of your tinnitus.
- Tinnitus maskers. These devices on the ear play white noise to cover the sounds of your tinnitus.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) can help you learn to cope with your tinnitus.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a tinnitus expert, call Southwestern Hearing & Balance today.