Tinnitus can be extremely debilitating in the early stages and affect your ability to work or cope with normal life activities. People with debilitating tinnitus are a special subgroup of patients who have a generalized reaction to new body sound. They have severe hyperacusis, chronic lack of sleep, and persistent anxiety and depression, and are unable to concentrate or experience moments of relaxation or tranquility. More than 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, and nearly 20 million of those cases are considered chronic, according to the American Tinnitus Association.
For two million Americans like Bowe, the condition is extreme and debilitating. Most cases of tinnitus are due to hearing loss, but the condition can also be due to allergies, heart disease, jaw problems such as TMJ, or neck conditions. There is no cure for this condition. Tinnitus can make you unable to work and cause a disability.
Even with treatment and therapeutic management, tinnitus can cause debilitating limitations. Whether or not you qualify for long-term disability benefits due to tinnitus depends on the severity of your symptoms and how they affect your ability to work. Even with these advances, tinnitus remains a debilitating condition with no definitive cure, sometimes leading patients to suicide. According to the Association of Tinnitus Professionals, of the more than 50 million people who suffer from it, 36 million get used to it without attention, 15 million seek care and another 2 million have a series of debilitating reactions.
When patients with debilitating tinnitus are identified, especially at an early stage, they can achieve significant improvements in their quality of life through neuroplastic changes. As a result, tinnitus remains a chronic, often debilitating condition for a significant number of patients. This review evaluates current advances in the pathophysiology and treatment of tinnitus, which remains a chronic and debilitating condition.