Like many chronic conditions, there’s a mental health aspect to tinnitus. Coping with the symptoms isn’t the only obstacle. It’s finding the inner fortitude and resilience to do it regularly without knowing whether they will ever go away once and for all. For some individuals, unfortunately, depression can be the outcome.
Persistent tinnitus has been linked to a higher rate of suicide, particularly in women, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association and carried out by Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC).
Tinnitus And Suicide, What’s The Connection?
Scientists at the SPHC questioned around 70,000 people to determine the connection between suicide and tinnitus (Accurate, reliable results require large sample sizes).
Here are some of the results:
- 22.5% of the respondents reported experiencing tinnitus.
- 9% of women with severe tinnitus had attempted suicide.
- 5.5% of men with profound tinnitus had suicide attempts.
- Just 2.1% of respondents documented that their tinnitus had been diagnosed by a hearing professional.
The differences in suicide rates between women and men are clear, leading the researchers to call out the increased dangers for women. These results also suggest that a significant portion of people experiencing tinnitus don’t get a diagnosis or get professional assistance. Not only are there treatments for tinnitus, lots of individuals experience relief by using hearing aids.
Are These Universal Findings?
This research must be replicated in other areas of the world, with different sized populations, and eliminating other variables before we can make any broad generalizations. In the meantime, we should 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 various reasons why this might 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”
Most individuals 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.
Most of The Respondents Weren’t Diagnosed
Possibly the next most shocking conclusion in this study is that relatively few individuals were officially diagnosed with tinnitus, even though they displayed moderate to severe symptoms.
This is probably the best way to minimize the risk of suicide and other health concerns connected to tinnitus and hearing impairment in general. That’s because treatment for tinnitus can offer many overall benefits:
- Tinnitus symptoms can be more efficiently controlled with treatment.
- Tinnitus is commonly a sign of hearing impairment, which can (and should) be treated.
- Depression is frequently improved with tinnitus treatment.
Tinnitus And Hearing Loss
It’s estimated that 90 percent of people with tinnitus have hearing loss, and studies suggest that hearing aids help control the symptoms of tinnitus. Some hearing aids, in fact, actually come with features that target the symptoms of tinnitus. To discover if hearing aids can help you, set up an appointment.