The buzzing in your ear keeps getting worse. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of situations. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how persistent) 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 origin of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly establish what approach will be most appropriate for you. But there are certain common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus therapy.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is extremely common. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical issues, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical issues, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical providers will usually try to treat the underlying problem as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing loss is usually referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Over time, exposure to harmful noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. It’s usually very challenging to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The type of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing affliction, will establish the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically clear up when the root medical problem is treated. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is related to a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is a result of an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these situations to treat other symptoms.
You’ll want to make an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
In general, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There’s usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in situations where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Treatments, instead focus on alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus noises by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be attenuated to produce certain sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you manage the symptoms of both ailments. When you have hearing impairment everything externally becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases treated with experimental medication. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. However, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you achieve just that.
Find what works
For most of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s triggering our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to attempt numerous approaches in order to effectively treat your own hearing problems. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are many treatments available. Finding the right one for you is the trick.