The shocking way tinnitus can kill you

The shocking way tinnitus can kill you

You may think the constant ringing in your ears called tinnitus is harmless, but sometimes it's downright deadly.

Tinnitus, or the constant buzzing or ringing some people hear even whent here’s complete silence, seems like more of an annoyance than a real medical condition. But in reality, it can be deadly.

As we recently reported, a new study shows that up to 10 percent of all people have tinnitus, a surprisingly high number. So what’s the big deal? It’s not so much the physical effects of tinnitus, which isn’t really the issue, but the mental impact.

The reality is that tinnitus often leads to anxiety and depression as people literally go mad from the non-stop buzzing, clicking and ringing in their ears that won’t go away. And in some cases, it leads to suicide.

A story from just this past December in the UK published in the Express details the story of a man who was driven so mad by tinnitus that he jumped from a quarry cliff to his death after he found out there was no cure for the condition.

The 58-year-old boat skipper, James Ivor Jones, had developed the ringing in his ears that had become so persistent that it was actually painful. When doctors couldn’t provide him with any hope, he jumped 80 feet to his death.

That’s part of the reason for the study: scientists want to better understand tinnitus and what causes it so they can figure out a cure and prevent such tragedies in the future.

“The recent guidelines published by the AAO­HNSF provide a logical framework for clinicians treating these patients, but the current results indicate that most patients may not be offered management recommendations consistent with the suggested protocol. With the newly published guidelines from the AAO-HNSF, otolaryngologists may play a greater role in addressing this issue, not only with treating their patients accordingly, but also in educating other physicians and health care professionals. Future work can be directed to show changing patterns in tinnitus management before and after the implementation of these guidelines,” the authors write.

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