Audiology

Severe Tinnitus and Suicidal Thoughts

Tinnitus is a truly strange auditory phenomenon. Usually a result of hearing loss, tinnitus manifests in a ringing noise that can be faint or loud, only there occasionally or frequently, in one ear or both. Based on its severity, people just ignore it, or they can seek treatment. Unfortunately, the best available treatment for tinnitus is cognitive therapy that helps people deal with the symptoms. There is currently no known cure.

By some measures, over 25% of Americans above 65 have tinnitus, and the total number of Americans with the condition is over 30 million. With something so prevalent, you would think that would be more conversations about the condition and its effects.

One particularly dark aspect of tinnitus is that, in severe cases, the sufferer can begin to develop suicidal thoughts. It could be the severity of the condition, the fact that there is no treatment, or some apparatus that we are not currently aware of. But those suffering with tinnitus, even mild versions of it, need to be aware of this aspect of the condition.

The thing to keep in mind is that suicidal thoughts come and go, and feeling that way for a period of time does not mean you will feel the same way forever. The best thing you can do is to get professional help — from a qualified audiologist who may be able to recommend treatment for the tinnitus specifically, but also from a person qualified to deal with those thinking about self-harm.

This is something that is important to know for friends and relatives of those who may suffer from tinnitus. It’s a good idea to check in with your loved one on occasion about the severity of their symptoms and to see if they are getting any treatment or considering talking to a professional. In addition to this, it’s a good idea to check in with them about their mental state. You may have to press here a bit to see if they are willing to open up, but it’s really worthwhile to do this.

Do you or a loved one suffer from tinnitus? The best thing you can do is come in for an exam so you can start treating your tinnitus and get on with your life. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment!

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.