The ringing in your ear keeps worsening. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of things. But you’ve observed how loud and persistent the tinnitus sounds have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. These sounds can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears managed?
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will vary 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.
What type of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is not unusual. There can be a number of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is usually split into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical issue, such as an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Dealing with the root medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally saved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. As time passes, exposure to harmful noise (such as the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. It’s usually very difficult to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The type of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing affliction, will establish the best ways to treat those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will usually go away when the underlying medical issue is treated. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Hydrocortisone: Some kinds of infections will not respond to antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic solutions. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is caused by a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
You’ll want to make an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently much harder to diagnose and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing impairment. Treatments, instead highlight alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some cases, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly utilized strategy created to help you reach just that.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help reduce tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing caused by your tinnitus. Certain sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is creating.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more dominant as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid could help you manage the symptoms of both conditions. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing impairment). When you utilize a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus sounds seem quieter.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will probably need to try out several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be clear. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But many different treatments are available that could decrease the symptoms. The trick is discovering the one that works for you.