Like many chronic conditions, there’s a mental health element to tinnitus. Coping with the symptoms isn’t the only challenge. It’s finding the inner strength and resiliency to do it on a regular basis without knowing whether they will ever recede for good. Unfortunately, for some people, tinnitus can bring about depression.
Chronic tinnitus has been linked to a higher instance of suicide, especially in women, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association and performed by Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC).
Tinnitus And Suicide, What’s The Connection?
So that they can establish any type of connection between tinnitus and suicide, researchers at the SPHC surveyed around 70,000 people (large sample sizes are necessary to generate dependable, scientific final results).
According to the responses they got back:
- 22.5% of the respondents reported having tinnitus.
- Suicide attempts occurred with 9% of women with significant tinnitus.
- 5.5% of men with profound tinnitus had suicide attempts.
- A hearing specialist diagnosed tinnitus in just 2.1% of respondents.
The differences in suicide rates between men and women are clear, leading the experts to bring attention to the increased risks for women. And most individuals with tinnitus symptoms, according to this research, don’t get their tinnitus diagnosed by a hearing specialist. Many people can get relief by using hearing aids and other therapies.
Are These Universal Findings?
This research must be duplicated in other parts of the world, with different sized populations, and ruling out other variables before we can make any broad generalizations. That said, we shouldn’t disregard the problem in the meantime.
What Does This Research Mean?
While this research suggests an elevated risk of suicide for women with significant tinnitus, the study did not draw definitive conclusions as to why women had a higher risk of suicide than men. There are numerous reasons why this might be but the data doesn’t identify any one reason why this might be.
Here are some things to pay attention to:
Not All Tinnitus is “Severe”
First off, the vast majority of those who have experienced tinnitus do not have “severe” tinnitus. That doesn’t mean modest or slight instances of tinnitus do not present their own challenges. But the suicide risk for women was significantly more marked for women who reported “severe” tinnitus symptoms.
Most of The Participants Weren’t Diagnosed
Most of the respondents in this study who reported moderate to severe symptoms didn’t get diagnosed and that is perhaps the next most shocking conclusion.
This is probably the best way to reduce the danger of suicide and other health concerns linked to tinnitus and hearing loss in general. Here are some of the numerous benefits that can come from tinnitus treatment:
- People who are treated for tinnitus can learn to better control their symptoms.
- Hearing impairment can be treated and tinnitus is often a warning sign.
- Depression is frequently improved with tinnitus treatment.
Tinnitus And Hearing Loss
It’s estimated that 90 percent of individuals who suffer from tinnitus have hearing impairment, and studies indicate that hearing aids help manage the symptoms of tinnitus. In fact, some hearing aids are designed with extra features to help tinnitus symptoms. To find out if hearing aids can help you, set up an appointment.