Tinnitus, like lots of chronic conditions, has a mental health component to it. It’s not just a matter of coping with the symptoms. It’s handling the symptoms constantly never knowing for sure if they will subside. For some individuals, regrettably, depression can be the outcome.
Persistent tinnitus has been connected to 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 Link?
In order to establish any kind of connection between tinnitus and suicide, researchers at the SPHC surveyed around 70,000 people (bigger sample sizes are necessary to produce dependable, scientific results).
Here are some of the results:
- 22.5% of the respondents reported experiencing tinnitus.
- Suicide attempts occurred with 9% of women with significant tinnitus.
- Out of the men with severe tinnitus, 5.5% had attempted suicide.
- A hearing specialist diagnosed tinnitus in only 2.1% of respondents.
It’s clear that women with tinnitus have a higher instance of suicide and researchers are attempting to raise awareness for them. And most people with tinnitus symptoms, according to this research, don’t have their tinnitus diagnosed by a hearing specialist. Not only are there therapies for tinnitus, lots of people experience relief by wearing hearing aids.
Are These Findings Universal?
Before any broad generalizations can be made, this study needs to be duplicated in different areas of the world with different variables and population sizes. In the meantime, we need to take these findings seriously.
What Does This Research Mean?
The study was inconclusive about why women had a higher suicide rate than men but that was certainly the result. There are a variety of possible explanations, of course, but there’s nothing intrinsic in the data that points towards any of those explanations as more or less likely.
Here are a few things to pay attention to:
Some Tinnitus is Not “Severe”
Most individuals who notice tinnitus symptoms don’t have “severe” tinnitus. Moderate instances also have their own obstacles, of course. But the statistical correlation between suicide and women with tinnitus was most pronounced (and, thus, denotes the greatest risk) with those who rated their tinnitus as severe.
Most of The Respondents Weren’t Diagnosed
Possibly the next most startling conclusion in this study is that relatively few individuals were actually diagnosed with tinnitus, even though they presented moderate to severe symptoms.
This is, perhaps, the most significant area of possibility and one of the best ways to lower suicide or other health concerns at the same time. That’s because treatment for tinnitus can offer many overall advantages:
- Tinnitus symptoms can be more efficiently controlled with treatment.
- Hearing impairment can be treated and tinnitus is commonly a warning sign.
- Depression is often improved with tinnitus treatment.
Tinnitus is Connected to Hearing Loss
It’s estimated that 90 percent of individuals with tinnitus have hearing loss, and studies suggest that hearing aids help control the symptoms of tinnitus. As a matter of fact, some hearing aids are made with added features to improve tinnitus symptoms. To discover if hearing aids can help you, make an appointment.