There are many side effects of constant sensory stimulation as the result of a medical condition. Oftentimes, these side effects are related to mental health as the sensory overstimulation can damage an individual’s mental and emotional well being. Recently in Sweden, a study suggested that tinnitus-related suicide may be a chillingly common, yet underreported occurrence.
Analyzing Tinnitus-Related Suicide
In order to understand how tinnitus-related suicide occurs, it is necessary to understand both tinnitus and its effects on the mental health of people with it. Tinnitus is classified as a condition that displays primarily through a persistent ringing of the ears. Though this symptom pales in comparison to more imminently threatening conditions, the effect of tinnitus is pervasive and subtle, often manifesting as anxiety and depression when severe enough and on a long enough timescale.
Tinnitus is not a well-understood condition and is therefore difficult to treat. Of the current treatments available, cognitive behavioral therapy is the most often-used clinical solution. This therapeutic treatment conditions the patient to ignore the ringing in order to focus uninterrupted on their life. Other solutions suggested in order to aid patients include the use of white noise machines or tv shows to drown out the ringing, remaining distracted, or attempting to ignore the ringing. Although tinnitus and tinnitus-related suicide are not fully understood, there are still a few noted causes. Some circumstances that may aid in the development of tinnitus include:
- Old age
- Degeneration of the blood supply to the inner ear
- Unrelated hearing loss
- Loud Noises
Additionally, members of the military may be more susceptible to developing tinnitus because of poorly manufactured earplugs. As Parker Waichman covered previously in their expose about 3m earplugs, loud noises can cause hearing damages, including tinnitus, when not properly mitigated with functional hearing protection.
Decoding The Tinnitus-Related Suicide Study
On May 2, in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, a study was published online about tinnitus-related suicide. This study was conducted as a survey that included over 72,000 Swedish adults across the nation. The study found that just under 1 in 10 women, and slightly more than 1 in 20 men who were living with severe tinnitus had attempted suicide.
This tinnitus-related suicide study mentioned explicitly that the unit measured in this instance was not successful suicidal events, but rather suicidal attempts. Regardless, tinnitus-related suicide and tinnitus-related attempted-suicide are equally worrisome. The link was determined to be associative, meaning that it was not a direct cause-and-effect relationship but rather a contributory factor to other building mental health concerns. Even taking these facts as only contributing factors, that still means that 6,480 women and 3,960 men were distressed enough by their tinnitus, among other things, to make an attempt on their own life. That is a total of over 10,000 potential victims of this condition.
Protecting Yourself From Tinnitus-Related Suicide
Studies such as the one featured in JAMA Otolaryngology are helping to advance our understanding of tinnitus and related hearing-loss conditions moving forward. However, it may be dismaying to learn that treatments for tinnitus are rarely covered by insurance. If you or a loved one have developed tinnitus through no fault of your own, through such processes as being involuntarily exposed to loud noises at regular intervals, serving in the military, or through an incident that later caused hearing loss, Parker Waichman LLP can help you pursue the justice you deserve.
At Parker Waichman LLP, teams of experienced trial lawyers are ready to hear your case and help to prepare the best suit to earn you compensation for your injuries and grievances. Don’t wait, contact Parker Waichman today for a free consultation.
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