Woman holding her head from ringing in the ears and looking depressed.

Like many chronic conditions, there’s a mental health aspect to tinnitus. Dealing with the symptoms isn’t the only obstacle. It’s handling the symptoms constantly never knowing for sure if they will go away. Sadly, for some, tinnitus can lead to depression.

Chronic tinnitus has been associated with a higher instance of suicide, especially in women, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association and carried out by Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC).

Suicide And Tinnitus, What’s The Connection?

Researchers at the SPHC questioned about 70,000 people to establish the link between tinnitus and suicide (large sample sizes are needed to produce dependable, scientific results).

According to the responses they received:

  • Tinnitus symptoms were described by 22.5% of participants.
  • Suicide attempts happened with 9% of women with severe tinnitus.
  • Out of the men with significant tinnitus, 5.5% had attempted suicide.
  • Only 2.1% of respondents documented that their tinnitus had been diagnosed by a hearing specialist.

It’s clear that women with tinnitus have a higher instance of suicide and researchers are attempting to raise awareness for them. These results also suggest that a significant portion of individuals experiencing tinnitus don’t get a diagnosis or get professional assistance. Not only are there therapies for tinnitus, lots of individuals experience relief by using hearing aids.

Are These Universal Findings?

This study must be replicated in other areas of the world, with different population sizes, and ruling out other variables before we can make any broad generalizations. That being said, we shouldn’t disregard the problem in the meantime.

What’s The Underlying Meaning of This Research?

While this research indicates an elevated risk of suicide for women with severe tinnitus, the study didn’t draw clear conclusions as to why women had a higher risk of suicide than men. There are numerous reasons why this could be but the data doesn’t identify any one reason why this might be.

Some things to take note of:

Some Tinnitus is Not “Severe”

Most people who experience tinnitus symptoms don’t have “severe” tinnitus. Moderate instances also have their own obstacles, of course. But the suicide risk for women was far more marked for women who experienced “severe” tinnitus symptoms.

Low Numbers of Participants Were Diagnosed

Possibly the next most shocking conclusion in this research is that fairly few individuals were officially diagnosed with tinnitus, even though they had moderate to severe symptoms.

This is, possibly, the most important area of opportunity and one of the best ways to decrease suicide or other health concerns simultaneously. That’s because treatment for tinnitus can offer many overall benefits:

  • Tinnitus symptoms can be more efficiently managed with treatment.
  • Hearing impairment can be treated and tinnitus is frequently a warning sign.
  • Some treatments also help with depression.

Tinnitus is Connected to Hearing Loss

It’s estimated that 90 percent of people who suffer from tinnitus have hearing impairment, and studies indicate that hearing aids help regulate the symptoms of tinnitus. Some hearing aids, in fact, actually come with features that target the symptoms of tinnitus. Schedule an appointment to learn if hearing aids could help you.

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References

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/fullarticle/2732497

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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