Tinnitus and Mental Health, People and Adolescent Care

Tinnitus is a chronic hearing condition which is an underlying physical health issue. Those who have suffered from tinnitus have been deemed at risk of poor mental health. Tinnitus is the perception of a noise that has no exterior source. Many common responses were similar between the tinnitus patients, and several have reported that they hear a type of ringing, buzzing, or humming. Tinnitus is a symptom and is not classified as a disease itself, therefore, it can have numerous causes, most of which are caused by hearing loss, which is damage to the inner ear. Oddly enough, many people do not know that this issue has an association to a decline in mental health, and the need for action on mental health is critical within this scenario. In patients with tinnitus, it is important to be taking care of your emotional health as this specific health issue has serious effects on mental health if left untreated. Not only does this symptom target to the older generation of people, but it is happening to children and adolescents as well. It is critical that parents are taking note of distinguishing these mental health problems associated with tinnitus in their child’s adolescent years.

Effects of Tinnitus and Mental Health

The Department of health and human services should be considering the factors of Tinnitus and the direct impact on the mental health of adults and adolescents that are suffering. What the national institute of mental health tends to disregard is that there are many people out there that suffer from tinnitus so severely that they have reported depression, anxiety, anger, PTSD, insomnia and even worse, thoughts of suicide. Unfortunately, there are no cures for tinnitus patients, but there are treatment options such as sound therapy or nature sound machines to assist with avoiding silence. While dealing with the physical aspects of tinnitus is important, it is just as crucial to deal with the mental health side of sever tinnitus cases. Regardless of the high presence of tinnitus amongst youth, until now, studies on tinnitus in adolescents have been limited to the perspective of a single institution. Fortunately, for adults and adolescents in todays day and age, there is the important presence of clinical practice & epidemiology in mental health, which is an open access online academic journal, which publishes study articles in the field of clinical practice, and provides a lot of useful information on current developments in the field of tinnitus.

Symptoms of Tinnitus

People with tinnitus and Tinnitus symptoms have been linked to various mental health complications. With the severity of tinnitus and the risk factor for tinnitus, many people are considered a threat for developing mental health issues if they develop tinnitus symptoms. According to research, about 36 million people in America are estimated to have tinnitus, and more than 13 million of these people report having this symptom without having a loss of hearing. The severity of the condition can vary greatly from individual to individual as some people could adjust well to the noises they are hearing, and others do not.  It is extremely important to keep a lookout for tinnitus symptoms and to try and catch it in the earlier stages or the severity could increase. Symptoms may include the following types of noises in your ears without any external source making the noise:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Roaring

The noises described above can vary in pitch of their tinnitus and can range from either a low growl to a high shriek and people may hear it in either one or both of their ears. The sound of these can be so excruciating that it can interfere with an individual’s association to hear actual external sound or to concentrate. The symptoms also can always be present, or it can come and go. It is also important to note that there are two types of tinnitus, which is either subjective or objective. Subjective tinnitus is when only the individual can hear the noise, which is the most common type of tinnitus. Normally it is caused by ear problems, or it can be caused by problems with the hearing auditory nerves. Objective tinnitus is the type where your doctor can hear when they do an examination for you. This is often caused by a blood vessel issue, muscle contractions or a middle ear bone condition. Although tinnitus cannot necessarily be treated, there are solutions for better hearing health, and that would be accompanying hearing loss, which can bring back many sounds of life, and in turn, could improve relationships and help keep an individuals mind occupied. It has been shown that people who have both tinnitus and hearing loss, that when they wear their hearing aids, this can alleviate tinnitus significantly.

There is no question about it that mental health combined with tinnitus poses very serious risks to people, but it has been proven that social support has been found to be much more of a positive impact when it comes to major depressive illnesses. Mental health problems have been associated to the loss of hearing and sadly, the association between functional hearing and depression often go unrecognized by many health care professionals, which is problematic as untreated hearing loss can cause serious issues in the future. There is very powerful evidence that depression affects both mind and body, and through many techniques of brain imaging, research has discovered that depression can alter brain chemistry. In patients with tinnitus, it is important to be taking care of your emotional health as this specific health issue has serious effects on mental health if left untreated. Not only does this symptom happen to the older generation, but it is happening to children and adolescents as well. Furthermore, it is crucial to detect symptoms of depression early on so that the treatment process can start at a pace that is sensitive to all individuals at any age.