The buzzing in your ear keeps 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 loud (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 managed.
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly establish what treatment will be most suitable for you. But there are certain common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus treatment.
What type of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is very common. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is often divided into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical problems, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical issues, can be the cause of tinnitus. Managing the root medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. Over time, exposure to harmful noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more difficult to manage.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing condition, will determine the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that managing your initial illness or ailment will relieve the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are decreasing your quality of life.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely disappear when the infection clears up.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone may 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
Typically, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing impairment. Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus sounds by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. Certain sounds can be programmed into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is creating.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. Still, 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 ignore your tinnitus sounds. This widely utilized strategy has helped many individuals do just that.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid may help you control the symptoms of both ailments. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing loss). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
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 clear. 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. Finding the right one for you is the trick.