Like many chronic conditions, there’s a mental health element to tinnitus. It’s not just a matter of coping with the symptoms. It’s coping with the symptoms continuously never knowing for certain if they will go away. For some people, regrettably, depression can be the outcome.
According to a study conducted by the Stockholm Public Health Cohort (SPHC) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, persistent tinnitus has been linked to an increase in suicide cases, especially among women.
What’s The Link Between Tinnitus And Suicide?
Researchers at the SPHC questioned about 70,000 people to determine the link between suicide and tinnitus (large sample sizes are necessary to generate reliable, scientific final results).
According to the responses they received:
- 22.5% of the respondents reported having tinnitus.
- 9% of women with significant tinnitus had attempted suicide.
- 5.5% of men with severe tinnitus had attempted suicide.
- Just 2.1% of respondents reported that their tinnitus had been diagnosed by a hearing professional.
It’s obvious that women with tinnitus have a higher rate of suicide and researchers are trying 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. Many individuals can get relief by wearing hearing aids and other treatments.
Are These Universal Findings?
This research must be replicated in other areas 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 ignore the concern 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 certainly the result. 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:
Not All Tinnitus is “Severe”
First off, the vast majority of people who have experienced tinnitus don’t have “severe” tinnitus. That doesn’t mean modest or slight instances of tinnitus don’t offer their own obstacles. But the statistical connection between women with tinnitus and suicide was most evident (and, thus, denotes the greatest risk) with those who rated their tinnitus as severe.
Most of The Participants Weren’t Diagnosed
The majority of the participants in this research who described moderate to severe symptoms didn’t get diagnosed and that is perhaps the next most shocking conclusion.
This is, perhaps, the most important area of possibility and one of the best ways to lower suicide or other health risks at the same time. Here are some of the numerous advantages that can come from tinnitus treatment:
- People who are treated for tinnitus can learn to better control their symptoms.
- Tinnitus is frequently a sign of hearing loss, which can (and should) be treated.
- Some treatments also help with depression.
Tinnitus And Hearing Loss
It’s estimated that 90 percent of people 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 made with additional features to improve tinnitus symptoms. Make an appointment to learn if hearing aids might help you.