The answer: Not yet, but there may be a tinnitus cure on the horizon. Read on to see what's being done to help people with tinnitus.
Tinnitus – the ringing or buzzing noise in one or both ears that may be constant or come and go – has annoyed people for thousands of years. It is a phenomenon highly associated with hearing loss. Not all people who experience tinnitus have hearing loss, and some people with hearing loss don’t experience tinnitus. HearingLife’s professionals have options for you to help you treat tinnitus.
Despite worldwide efforts to address a chronic issue that impacts more than 50 million Americans,¹ scientists and audiologists are still searching for an overarching cure for tinnitus. Until there is one, here are some remedies that could mean an improved quality of life for millions.
Recent research and a cure for tinnitus
Fortunately, researchers are examining multiple aspects of tinnitus. Across the globe, studies are ongoing to expand understanding of the phenomenon, including exploring new treatment options for tinnitus, with the goal of a tinnitus cure. Some are looking at triggers for tinnitus, others at therapeutic treatments.
In one study researchers, including Martin Jensen with the University of Marburg in Germany and Eriksholm Research Centre, are investigating how retraining the brain could improve tinnitus symptoms. (Eriksholm Research Centre partners with Oticon in developing Oticon More™ and other hearing aids that offer tinnitus settings.)
Covid-19 and tinnitus
In late 2020, researchers from the UK and the United States looked at links between Covid-19 and tinnitus. The study of more than 3,100 people found that Covid-19 exacerbates tinnitus for people who already had tinnitus prior to having Covid. The study included patients in 48 countries. 40% of participants experienced a worsening of tinnitus after becoming ill with the Coronavirus.² If you or a loved one have experienced increased tinnitus with Covid and would like to discuss treatment for tinnitus, we invite you to schedule an appointment online. As scientists continue to look at the impacts of the pandemic, there may be more news on this front.
Is there research for a tinnitus cure?
With diverse causes, a tinnitus cure may not be one-size-fits-all. In the interim, research continues in both treatment and cures. Focusing on the causes of tinnitus, which are very similar to hearing loss, may lead to new ways prevent it. on the causes of tinnitus and how to prevent it. Tinnitus has many of the same causes as hearing loss.
Hope on the horizon with clinical trials
If you are considering seeking innovative therapies, you may want to look into joining a US government-approved clinical trial. More than 20 tinnitus clinical trials are recruiting candidates as of February 2021. You can find the latest admissions criteria and opportunities to take part at the U.S. government’s clinical trials online information. To learn more, talk to your physician to find out if this is right for you.
The American Tinnitus Association is a professional organization focused on tinnitus relief. Since 1980, they have contributed more than $6 million to sponsor research aimed at finding a cure and optimizing treatments. For information on their research program, how to submit a proposal, and to learn about their findings, go to https://www.ata.org/research-toward-cure/research-program.
Tinnitus and hearing loss and why it’s important to check your hearing
According to the Hearing Health Foundation, roughly 90% of people who have tinnitus also have underlying hearing loss.³ If you have debilitating tinnitus, it may be beneficial to check for hearing loss.
Hearing aids may help. The latest hearing aids have special tinnitus settings to mask the sounds. To check for hearing loss or discuss your tinnitus symptoms, call HearingLife at (844) 836-5003.
¹https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/closing-in-on-tinnitus-treatmentsAccessed February 5, 2021
²https://theconversation.com/the-coronavirus-pandemic-has-worsened-tinnitus-for-many-sufferers-new-research-149598 Accessed February 5, 2021.
³ https://hearinghealthfoundation.org/hearing-loss-tinnitus-statistics Accessed February 5, 2021.