New research has shown that having primary open-angle glaucoma may increase your risk of experiencing tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ear. However, some people also experience hissing, buzzing, roaring, sizzling, clicking or other noises in the ear. It can present as an acute symptom that goes away within a few days or it may be chronic and last for weeks, months or even years.
Tinnitus is a symptom of another condition rather than an illness of its own. Discovering the cause of your tinnitus is important to determining treatment options. However, in some cases, a cause is not found.
Connection Between Glaucoma and Tinnitus Risk
Glaucoma actually refers to a group of progressive eye conditions that damage the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss. It is most common in people over 60 and those with a family history of the disease. Primary open-angle glaucoma is the condition’s most common form.
In April 2022, a population-wide study was published that examined the association between tinnitus and primary open-angle glaucoma. Researchers found that even after adjusting for factors such age, sex, and other pre-existing health conditions, individuals with primary open-angle glaucoma were significantly more likely to experience tinnitus than those without the condition.
Though the authors of the study did not indicate a clear cause that explains the increased risk, they encouraged more research into the area and for eyecare professionals to be aware of the connection.
Managing Your Tinnitus
Because some people only have mild or short-lasting tinnitus, not everyone who experiences it requires treatment. However, other people can experience symptoms that negatively impact their quality of life. Chronic tinnitus may make you feel anxious or depressed, interfere with your sleep, affect your concentration and even make it difficult to enjoy time out with friends at DJ’s Bistro.
If you and your medical provider discover the cause of your tinnitus, treating the underlying condition may resolve or at least improve your symptoms.
While tinnitus cannot be cured, there are treatment and management methods that can significantly decrease your symptoms, even if no cause is found. Options include:
- Noise suppression therapy or using white noise to mask tinnitus
- Tinnitus retraining therapy
- Hearing aids (if tinnitus is related to hearing loss)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Stress reduction techniques
If you need help managing your tinnitus, call Valley Audiology today to speak with an expert or schedule an appointment.