The ringing in your ear keeps getting worse. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of things. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve noticed just how loud (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. These sounds can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will vary from person to person and depend substantially on the source 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 kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is not uncommon. 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 when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical issue, like an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Medical providers will usually attempt to treat the root problem as their main priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally saved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (such as the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is usually more challenging to manage.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing problem and the type of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically go away when the root medical problem is addressed. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by a tumor or other growth, doctors may perform surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is caused by 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 go back to normal.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
In general, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There is usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in situations where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to provide enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing caused by your tinnitus. Specific sounds can be programmed into these devices depending on what noises your tinnitus is generating.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. Still, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more prominent as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid may help you manage the symptoms of both conditions. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (because of hearing impairment). When you utilize a hearing aid it raises the volume of the external world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. This frequently utilized method has helped many people do just that.
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. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But numerous different treatments are available that could decrease the symptoms. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.