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 sure if they will subside. Unfortunately, for some, tinnitus can lead to depression.
According to a study carried out by the Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, chronic tinnitus has been associated with an increase in suicide cases, especially with women.
Tinnitus And Suicide, What’s The Link?
So that they can establish any type of connection between tinnitus and suicide, researchers at the SPHC surveyed about 70,000 individuals (Accurate, reliable results require large sample sizes).
Here are some of the results:
- Tinnitus symptoms were reported by 22.5% of respondents.
- 9% of women with extreme tinnitus had suicide attempts.
- Of the men with severe tinnitus, 5.5% had attempted suicide.
- A hearing professional diagnosed tinnitus in just 2.1% of respondents.
It’s clear that women with tinnitus have a higher instance of suicide and researchers are trying 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. Not only are there therapies for tinnitus, lots of people experience relief by wearing hearing aids.
Are These Findings Universal?
This study must be replicated in other areas of the world, with different sized populations, and eliminating other variables before we can come to any broad generalizations. That being said, we shouldn’t disregard the concern in the meantime.
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 certainly the result. There are numerous possible explanations, of course, but there’s nothing intrinsic in the data that singles out any of those arguments as more or less likely.
Some things to take note of:
Some Tinnitus is Not “Severe”
First and foremost, the vast majority of individuals who have noticed tinnitus do not have “severe” tinnitus. Moderate instances also present their own obstacles, of course. But the suicide risk for women was far more pronounced for women who experienced “severe” tinnitus symptoms.
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 possibly the next most shocking conclusion.
This is possibly the best way to decrease the danger of suicide and other health concerns connected to tinnitus and hearing loss in general. Here are a few of the many benefits that can come from tinnitus treatment:
- People who are treated for tinnitus can learn to better regulate their symptoms.
- Hearing loss can be treated and tinnitus is often a warning sign.
- Some treatments also help with depression.
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. As a matter of fact, some hearing aids are designed with additional features to help tinnitus symptoms. To learn if hearing aids can help you, set up an appointment.