You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could barely hear it. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve realized just how noisy (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. These noises can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be addressed.
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will differ from person to person and depend substantially on the origin of your hearing problems. 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. There can be a number of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is often divided into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical issue, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical professionals will typically attempt to treat the underlying issue as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. Over time, exposure to harmful noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more difficult to treat.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing affliction, will establish the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical ailment, it’s likely that managing your initial illness or disorder will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection goes away, 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 a result of a medical problem, 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 more difficult to identify and manage 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 course of action.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help reduce tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing worsens. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else gets quieter (due to hearing impairment). When you utilize a hearing aid it raises the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus sounds seem quieter.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This frequently utilized method has helped many individuals do just that.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus sounds by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be calibrated to generate certain sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will most likely need to try out several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be obvious. 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 lessen the symptoms. The trick is discovering the one that works for you.