You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how noisy (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other sounds. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is ringing in the ears addressed?
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly determine what treatment will be most appropriate for you. But there are some common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus treatment.
What type of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is incredibly common. There can be a variety of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is usually divided into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical problems, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Managing the underlying medical problem will normally be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing loss is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. As time passes, exposure to damaging 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 kind of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing ailment, 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 treating your original illness or disorder will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to remove any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. 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 clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
You’ll want to make an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Treatments, instead center around alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- 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 becomes quieter (because of hearing impairment). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for treating tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. However, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are created to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing caused by your tinnitus. These devices can be calibrated to produce specific sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some instances, you can be trained to disregard the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you reach just that.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be completely clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll need to try several approaches in order to effectively treat your own hearing issues. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But many different treatments are available that could reduce the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.