The Myths Surrounding Tinnitus
Tinnitus is the phantom ringing of the ears, which occurs in 1 in every 5 people in the United States. It can be temporary or permanent, and can affect anyone at any point in their lifetime. Unfortunately, there are several myths surrounding the nature of tinnitus and its treatment methods, which is why it is important to gain reliable and valid information about it.
As with most things, we rely on search engines and social media for most of our information on a daily basis. Unfortunately, so much of the information available via these mediums are mere opinions which are not based on any kind of valid research. Much of the information provided are spread by innocent people who are unaware that they are spreading misinformation.
According to a recent study, around 44% of Facebook groups contained some forms of misinformation. This percentage of erroneous information was 34% for Twitter users and 30% for users who make YouTube videos. The onus then falls upon us to seek the truth by reading trustworthy articles that contain valid findings from research studies. You can start that process right here, right now.
Let’s start by defining tinnitus in detail. Tinnitus is a medical condition which results in a person hearing buzzing or ringing noises in one or both ears, in the absence of any such stimuli in the environment. If this condition lasts for more than 6 months, it is known as chronic tinnitus. Now let’s look at some of the myths surrounding tinnitus.
A common myth floating on the internet is that tinnitus cannot be treated through the use of hearing aids. In reality, hearing aids contain several features that can help you overcome the challenges of tinnitus and since they help you hear better, they can eliminate your ears’ need to create phantom ringing sounds which cause tinnitus.
Several people believe that tinnitus is only caused due to loud noises. While it is well known that loud noises do indeed cause tinnitus in some cases, they are by no means the only cause for tinnitus. Several underlying health conditions can also cause tinnitus, such as heart disease, and even pregnancy. Even lifestyle conditions such as sleep deprivation, and excessive smoking or drinking has been known to cause tinnitus. Certain medications even cause tinnitus as a side effect.
People believe changing their diet can “cure” tinnitus. There are two parts to this particular myth. One that changes in your diet can help you eliminate tinnitus, and the second that there is actually a “cure” for tinnitus. The first part can partly be considered as partially acceptable since certain changes in your diet can help lessen the symptoms of tinnitus, at least temporarily. This includes eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco intake.
The second part of the myth is sadly, completely false. There is NO known cure for tinnitus in today’s world. Even though the symptoms of tinnitus may increase or decrease with time and lifestyle changes, they cannot be completely eliminated.
While this may come as a blow for those seeking miraculous cures for their tinnitus, take heart in the knowledge that there are effective techniques that can help you manage your tinnitus effectively. You can use white noise to mask tinnitus symptoms, exercise regularly to improve blood flow that can help reduce tinnitus, seek psychological therapy that can help you tune out the sounds of tinnitus, and try and get enough restful sleep through relaxation training.