Posted September 20, 2012
It is described as a hissing, roaring, ringing, chirping or whooshing sound that disrupts hearing and peace of mind. This malady is called tinnitus, and it affects more than 44 million people in the United States. These individuals report the frequency of sounds occurring occasionally or regularly throughout the day. Medical professionals believe tinnitus usually results from exposure to loud noises. For example, soldiers returning from combat, where they were exposed to loud explosions on the battlefield, have experienced significant problems with tinnitus.
Unfortunately, there are no known cures for tinnitus. Historically, individuals with tinnitus were told to “just live with the sounds.” But in recent years, medical scientists have discovered a variety of treatment options that lessen the severity of tinnitus sounds, making it more bearable for individuals to live with these noises.
Medical scientists are working on new treatment options that show promise in providing relief for tinnitus sufferers for a longer period of time:
- Medical News Today reports that in the Netherlands, scientists at Maastricht University are working on a multidisciplinary approach to treating tinnitus by combining cognitive behavior therapy with sound-based retraining therapy
- According to Scientific American™ magazine, the U.S. Department of Defense has commissioned Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass., to develop a self-dissolving capsule to be placed between the middle ear and inner ear to release medication into the cochlea, the part of the ear that enables hearing; this device would be embedded with wireless communications, allowing doctors to control the medication dosage
Tinnitus is a common health problem that can affect the lives of individuals severely. Fortunately, medical scientists are researching options that show promise as viable treatments to reduce the impact of this ailment.
Do you suffer from tinnitus, or know of someone who does? How does it impact your daily life? Have you found an effective treatment?