Ever experienced a constant buzzing or ringing noise in your ears that just won't go away? If so, you are among the millions of people around the world with tinnitus, a hearing condition that makes the sufferer perceive noises (such as ringing and buzzing in most cases, but also hissing, whistling, and roaring in some) when no actual noise source is present. Tinnitus is also closely associated with hearing loss.
Not only does tinnitus have the capacity to negatively affect your day-to-day life, if left untreated, it can also lead to stress, depression, and social anxiety.
Despite the fact that it is among the most prevalent hearing conditions in the world (with an estimated one out of ten people suffering from it globally), misconceptions about tinnitus still exist. It's best to clear up these myths once and for all, so that the public will know that tinnitus can be easily managed and that you can live a fulfilling and happy life even if you have the condition.
Myth #1: Tinnitus Cannot Be Cured
Though not exactly false, the statement "tinnitus is incurable" isn't exactly true either. It's important to note that the tinnitus isn't a disease in itself; most of the time, it's just a symptom of other underlying medical conditions. It can arise if a patient has traumatic brain injuries, vascular diseases, neurological conditions, and other such health problems. Sometimes, it might simply be just a side effect of some kinds of medication too.
Though there is no specific "cure," for tinnitus, you have a wide range of options and treatments that can help alleviate the annoyances brought about by tinnitus.
Myth #2: There's Nothing More I Can Do About My Tinnitus
As mentioned above, a lot of tinnitus cases are merely symptoms of other health problems. Once you've addressed the root cause, there's a huge chance that the ringing and buzzing noises caused by tinnitus will go away (or at least, lessen in severity). Also, tinnitus research is still evolving, and treatments are constantly being developed and improved on as we speak. It doesn't matter how severe your tinnitus is- there are solutions and treatments available that can lessen its symptoms.
Myth #3: My Diet Caused My Tinnitus
Certain food substances and additives like caffeine, alcohol, and sodium can aggravate tinnitus especially if taken in large amounts- but experts believe that diet itself cannot be the root cause of tinnitus. It's still important for your overall physical and mental health to eat healthily though.
Myth #4: I'll Go Deaf Eventually
You can have hearing loss and tinnitus at the same time, but having one condition doesn't mean you'll automatically get the other one too. Yes, they can coexist but they are separate conditions in and of themselves. And even if you do have both, you can get digital hearing aids that can address the problems of both tinnitus and hearing loss.
Myth #5: Only People With Hearing Loss Can Get Tinnitus
Tinnitus is closely associated with hearing loss, that's true. However, anybody can get afflicted with the condition- it doesn't matter whether they have existing hearing issues or not.
Myth #6: Tinnitus is Just Ringing Noises In Your Ear
The most common noise that tinnitus sufferers usually hear is a ringing sound, but others can hear buzzing, humming, and whistling noises too. It's not the same for everyone. Sometimes, the sounds itself can vary from day to day.
Myth #7: Tinnitus Can Be Managed Just By Taking Pills
Nope, there's no magical one-pill cure-all for tinnitus. However, there is a wealth of solutions that your doctor can recommend to you to help make your condition more tolerable and manageable. Some of these include the aforementioned hearing aids, stress management techniques, and even meditation. Your doctor can also ask you to cut back on caffeine and alcohol, since these substances are known to exacerbate tinnitus.
Myth #8: You Can Only Get Tinnitus By Listening to Loud Noises
While listening to loud noises for an extended period of time can result to tinnitus- it's not the only cause. Sometimes, the condition might just pop up for no apparent reason at all.
Myth #9: Tinnitus Only Exists In Your Head
Tinnitus can't be transmitted to others nor does it directly affect the lives of the people around you, but it's still a condition that needs to be treated seriously. There are millions of people in the world that suffer from tinnitus. Their lives are negatively affected by it especially if they dismiss the condition and didn't actively seek out treatment.
Don't let tinnitus get the best of you. Knowing and correcting these misconceptions is an excellent first step into the world of tinnitus treatment. Call your doctor and healthcare providers to know what options are available to you.