You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly hear it. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially establish what treatment will be most suitable for you. But there are some common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus treatment.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is incredibly common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by various root problems. That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical issues, including ear infections, too much earwax, a growth, or other medical issues, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical professionals will typically try to treat the underlying problem as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is triggered by hearing damage or hearing loss is typically referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Over time, exposure to harmful noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more challenging to treat.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing affliction, will determine the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically go away when the underlying medical issue is treated. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not respond to antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is related to an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
If your tinnitus is related to a medical issue, you’ll want to see us to get personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are often much harder to diagnose and treat than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. There’s usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in cases where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing worsens. When you have hearing impairment everything outside gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some situations, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely utilized strategy designed to help you reach just that.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus sounds by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be attenuated to produce certain sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
Find what works
For most of us, it won’t be completely clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to attempt multiple approaches in order to successfully treat your own hearing problems. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But numerous different treatments are available that could reduce the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.