Like many chronic conditions, there’s a mental health aspect to tinnitus. Dealing with the symptoms isn’t the only challenge. It’s finding the inner strength and resilience to do it on a regular basis without knowing whether they will ever recede once and for all. Regrettably, for some people, tinnitus can cause depression.
Chronic tinnitus has been connected to a higher instance of suicide, particularly in women, according to research published in the Journal of American Medical Association and performed by Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC).
What’s The Connection Between Tinnitus And Suicide?
Researchers at the SPHC questioned around 70,000 individuals to determine the link between tinnitus and suicide (bigger sample sizes are needed to produce reliable, scientific results).
According to the answers they received:
- 22.5% of the respondents reported having tinnitus.
- 9% of women with severe tinnitus had attempted suicide.
- 5.5% of men with profound tinnitus had attempted suicide.
- Just 2.1% of respondents documented that their tinnitus had been diagnosed by a hearing specialist.
It’s obvious that women with tinnitus have a higher rate 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 specialist. Many individuals can get relief by using hearing aids and other therapies.
Are These Findings Universal?
This study must be replicated in other parts of the world, with different population sizes, and ruling out other variables before we can come to any broad generalizations. That being said, we shouldn’t disregard the problem in the meantime.
What Does This Research Suggest?
While this research points to an elevated risk of suicide for women with significant tinnitus, the study didn’t draw definitive conclusions as to why women were at greater risk of suicide than men. There are various 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:
Some Tinnitus is Not “Severe”
Most individuals who experience tinnitus symptoms don’t have “severe” tinnitus. That doesn’t mean moderate or slight instances of tinnitus don’t have their own challenges. But the suicide risk for women was much more pronounced for women who reported “severe” tinnitus symptoms.
Low Numbers of Respondents Were Diagnosed
The majority of the participants in this research who reported moderate to severe symptoms didn’t get diagnosed and that is perhaps the next most surprising conclusion.
This is possibly the best way to reduce the danger of suicide and other health concerns related to tinnitus and hearing impairment in general. Here are some of the many benefits that can come from tinnitus treatment:
- Tinnitus symptoms can be more efficiently managed with treatment.
- Hearing loss can be treated and tinnitus is frequently a warning sign.
- Some treatments also help with depression.
Tinnitus is Linked to Hearing Loss
It’s estimated that 90 percent of individuals who suffer from tinnitus have hearing loss, 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 improve tinnitus symptoms. To find out if hearing aids can help you, schedule an appointment.