You hear a lot of talk these days about the challenge of living with chronic diseases like high blood pressure or diabetes, but what about tinnitus? It is a chronic illness which has a strong emotional component since it affects so many areas of someone’s life. Tinnitus presents as phantom sounds in both ears. Most folks describe the noise as ringing, buzzing, clicking or hissing that nobody else can hear.
Tinnitus technically is not an illness but a symptom of an another medical issue like hearing loss and something that over 50 million people from the U.S. deal with on daily basis. The phantom sound tends to start at the most inconvenient times, too, like when you are watching a favorite TV series, attempting to read a magazine or listening to a friend tell a great tale. Tinnitus can worsen even when you attempt to get some sleep.
Medical science has not quite pinpointed the reason so many folks suffer with tinnitus or how it occurs. The current theory is that the brain creates this noise to balance the silence that accompanies hearing loss. Regardless of the cause, tinnitus is a life-changing problem. Consider five reasons tinnitus is such a challenge.
1. Tinnitus Impacts Emotional Processing
Recent information indicates that individuals who experience tinnitus have increased activity in their limbic system of the brain. This system is the part of the brain responsible for emotions. Until now, most specialists believed that people with tinnitus were worried and that’s the reason why they were always so sensitive. This new theory indicates there’s much more to it than simple stress. There’s an organic component that makes those with tinnitus touchy and emotionally delicate.
2. Tinnitus is Not Easy to Explain
How do you explain to someone else that you hear weird noises that they can’t hear and not feel crazy once you say it. The inability to tell others about tinnitus causes a disconnect. Even if you could tell somebody else, it’s not something that they truly can relate to unless they suffer from it for themselves. Even then, they may not have exactly the same signs of tinnitus as you. Support groups are usually available, but it means talking to a lot of people you don’t know about something very personal, so it’s not an attractive option to most.