Tinnitus Awareness Week is observed the first full week of February and the purpose of it is to educate the public about the symptoms of tinnitus and how it affects people. Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ear and 15 to 20 percent of people experience it. It’s not actually a condition, but a symptom of an underlying condition. These can be age-related, related to hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder. The symptoms include ringing, buzzing, clicking, roaring, hissing, or humming in the ear and it varies depending on the person.
History of Tinnitus Awareness Week
Tinnitus isn’t a new condition by any means. The Ancient Egyptians referred to it as the bewitched ear and humming in the ear and used remedies in hopes of curing it. They’d infuse the oil, frankincense, herbs, tree sap, and soil administered with a reed stalk in the external ear. There was also Egyptian art called “ear stelae” that depicted scenes of the left and right ears alongside images of devout worshipers. Their intention was to call upon their gods to hear their prayers and cure them of their symptoms.
The first people to equate the treatment of tinnitus as a symptom rather than a condition itself were the Early Greco-Romans. Depending on where the tinnitus originated from determined how they would treat it. When it was from a cold, they’d clean the ear and hold their breath until humor frothed from it. When it originated from the head, then exercise, rubbing, and gargling was used to cure it. Later, Aristotle and Hippocrates used a technique called masking, which silenced the tinnitus with a countervailing sound to drive it out.
In the Middle Ages, they experimented with different methods. They continued to pour liquids into the ear and they’d throw wet wood in a fire and the crackling and rustling would lull afflicted people to sleep. Another method was called ear candling where they’d take a burning candle and put it up to the ear to draw out wax and debris. Proponents of candling say that it’s is also good for other sinus problems.
French physician Jean Marie Gaspard Itard advanced the study of tinnitus in the nineteenth century. The Frenchman associated tinnitus with hearing loss and described early versions of objective and subjective tinnitus. He used masking methods with limited results, but as time went on, new advancements in tinnitus research came. Germ theory, anesthesia, and technology all became more accurate. Today, tinnitus is more manageable thanks to all the continued work and research, but there’s still much to be done as it’s still under-researched.
Tinnitus Awareness Week timeline
Tinnitus has become more manageable as a result of years of technological advancements and research after French the work of French physician Jean Marie Gaspard Itard.
More experimentation leads to more liquids poured into the ear and a method called candling to alleviate tinnitus.
Tinnitus is treated as a symptom and different methods are used depending on how the tinnitus appeared.
Ancient Egyptians call tinnitus the bewitched ear and use natural remedies in hopes of curing it.
Tinnitus Awareness Week FAQs
Is there a cure for tinnitus 2020?
Tinnitus research has begun closing in on a tinnitus cure, but so far, no one tinnitus treatment works for everyone.
Can tinnitus go away after weeks?
In many cases, tinnitus dissipates on its own regardless of the cause. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait for weeks, months, or even years for your tinnitus to disappear. If your tinnitus continues for more than a couple of weeks and negatively affects your quality of life, consult an audiologist.
Can tinnitus go away after 6 months?
The greatest majority of new tinnitus cases will resolve within 6-12 months of onset. If your tinnitus is more longstanding, it is likely that you will hear it less over time, even if it persists beyond this period.
How To Observe Tinnitus Awareness Week
Become an activist
Join the American Tinnitus Association and raise awareness about tinnitus. You can send emails, tweet your followers, share with your friends, and go door to door to tell people about it. Who knows, you could inspire them to become an activist too.
Get informed about tinnitus
There are many resources at your disposal to inform yourself about tinnitus. You can learn how it impacts society, how to manage tinnitus, and the current research toward the cure. You can never be too knowledgeable when it comes to causes like these.
Create a poster
Let the Ancient Egyptians inspire you by creating a poster that helps get the word out about Tinnitus Awareness Week. Make it personal, artistic, and attention-grabbing to make sure people stop and pay attention to this noteworthy issue that needs more people to care about it.
5 Interesting Facts About Tinnitus Awareness Week
Tinnitus affects nearly 45 million people.
Objective tinnitus may or may not be audible to a person, but it's audible to a person with a stethoscope.
Subjective tinnitus is audible only to the person that has it and it’s the most common form.
Teenagers and tinnitus
According to a new study, 1 in 5 teenagers suffers from tinnitus permanently.
Stress and anxiety are common contributors to tinnitus and those that suffer from stress-related disorders are more likely to get it.
Why Tinnitus Awareness Week Is Important
There are many advancements being made, but tinnitus is still under-researched. Surgical implants and alternative medicines could help, but without the proper research, it won't be as effective as it should be. Tinnitus Awareness Week brings these issues to light.
Take away the embarrassment
Many people are embarrassed to admit that they have tinnitus. It’s such a personal and seemingly subjective concern that talking about it makes some feel silly and it shouldn’t. It should be discussed with healthcare professionals if it affects your way of life. The embarrassment needs to end.
It affects so many
Tinnitus affects millions of people and that should be brought up more, not hidden away and forgotten about. Because they’re symptoms and not conditions themselves, it’s easier to brush it off, but the condition could be worse, and getting it checked out could prolong your life.