Like many chronic conditions, there’s a mental health element to tinnitus. It’s not just a matter of dealing with the symptoms. It’s coping with the symptoms constantly never knowing for certain if they will go away. For some individuals, unfortunately, depression can be the outcome.
According to research conducted by the Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, chronic tinnitus has been linked to an increase in suicide rates, particularly among women.
Tinnitus And Suicide, What’s The Connection?
So that they can identify any kind of link between tinnitus and suicide, researchers at the SPHC surveyed about 70,000 people (Accurate, reliable results require large sample sizes).
Here are some of the results:
- 22.5% of the respondents reported having tinnitus.
- 9% of women with significant tinnitus had suicide attempts.
- Out of the men with significant tinnitus, 5.5% had attempted suicide.
- Only 2.1% of respondents reported that their tinnitus had been diagnosed by a hearing specialist.
It’s obvious that women with tinnitus have a higher instance of suicide and researchers are attempting to raise awareness for them. And most individuals with tinnitus symptoms, according to this research, don’t have their tinnitus diagnosed by a hearing professional. Many individuals can get relief by using hearing aids and other treatments.
Are These Universal Findings?
Before any broad generalizations can be determined, this study needs to be replicated in different areas of the world with different variables and population sizes. In the meantime, we need to take these findings seriously.
What’s The Underlying Meaning of This Research?
The study was inconclusive about why women had an increased suicide rate than men but that was definitely the result. There are a variety of possible explanations, of course, but there’s nothing inherent in the data that singles out any of those arguments as more or less likely.
Here are a few things to pay attention to:
Not All Tinnitus is “Severe”
First off, the vast majority of individuals who have noticed tinnitus don’t have “severe” tinnitus. Moderate cases also have their own obstacles, of course. But the statistical connection between women with tinnitus and suicide was most evident (and, thus, denotes the biggest risk) with those who described their tinnitus as severe.
Most of The Participants Weren’t Diagnosed
The majority of the respondents in this study who reported moderate to severe symptoms didn’t get diagnosed and that is probably the next most surprising conclusion.
This is possibly the best way to minimize the danger of suicide and other health concerns linked to tinnitus and hearing impairment in general. Here are a few of the many advantages that can come from tinnitus treatment:
- Tinnitus symptoms can be more efficiently controlled with treatment.
- Tinnitus is often a sign of hearing loss, which can (and should) be treated.
- Depression is frequently improved with tinnitus treatment.
Tinnitus And Hearing Loss
It’s estimated that 90 percent of individuals with tinnitus have hearing impairment, and studies indicate that hearing aids help regulate the symptoms of tinnitus. As a matter of fact, some hearing aids are designed with added features to help tinnitus symptoms. To discover if hearing aids can help you, set up an appointment.
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