Tinnitus, as with lots of chronic conditions, has a mental health aspect to it. Dealing with the symptoms isn’t the only difficulty. It’s handling the symptoms continuously never knowing for certain if they will subside. Sadly, for some people, tinnitus can bring about depression.
Persistent tinnitus has been associated with a higher instance of suicide, particularly among 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?
So that they can identify any type of link between suicide and tinnitus, researchers at the SPHC surveyed about 70,000 individuals (Accurate, reliable results require large sample sizes).
According to the responses they got back:
- Tinnitus symptoms were described by 22.5% of participants.
- 9% of women with significant tinnitus had attempted suicide.
- 5.5% of men with profound tinnitus had suicide attempts.
- Just 2.1% of participants reported that their tinnitus had been diagnosed by a hearing professional.
It’s clear that women with tinnitus have a higher instance of suicide and researchers are trying to raise awareness for them. These results also indicate that a significant portion of people experiencing tinnitus don’t get a diagnosis or get professional help. Many people can get relief by using hearing aids and other treatments.
Are These Findings Universal?
Before any broad generalizations can be determined, this study needs to be duplicated in different areas of the world with different variables and population sizes. That being said, we shouldn’t disregard the problem in the meantime.
What’s The Underlying Meaning of This Research?
The study was inconclusive about why women had a higher suicide rate than men but that was definitely the result. There are various reasons why this could be but the data doesn’t identify any one reason why this might be.
Some things to take note of:
Not All Tinnitus is “Severe”
First and foremost, the vast majority of individuals who have experienced tinnitus do not have “severe” tinnitus. That doesn’t mean modest or slight instances of tinnitus do not offer their own obstacles. But the statistical correlation between suicide and women with tinnitus was most evident (and, thus, denotes the greatest risk) with those who described their tinnitus as severe.
Low Numbers of Participants Were Diagnosed
The majority 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 possibly the best way to minimize the danger of suicide and other health concerns linked to tinnitus and hearing loss in general. Here are a few of the many advantages that can come from tinnitus treatment:
- Individuals who are treated for tinnitus can learn to better manage their symptoms.
- Hearing impairment can be treated and tinnitus is frequently a warning sign.
- Some treatments also help with depression.
Tinnitus is Linked to Hearing Impairment
Up to 90% of people who cope with tinnitus also have hearing loss according to some studies and managing hearing loss by wearing hearing aids can help decrease tinnitus symptoms. Some hearing aids, in fact, actually have features that target the symptoms of tinnitus. Make an appointment to find out if hearing aids might help you.