You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. It started off 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 noisy (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. These sounds can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially establish what approach will be right for you. But there are some common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus therapy.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is extremely common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by various underlying issues. So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is normally divided into one of two categories:
- 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 issue as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. Severe, persistent, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage related to long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). It’s normally very difficult to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to treat your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you have.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is related to a root medical condition, it’s likely that treating your initial illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these cases, your doctor might 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. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go-away when the infection clears.
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
If your tinnitus is related to a medical problem, you’ll want to see us to receive individualized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Usually, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There is usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in situations where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing worsens. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing loss). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are designed to provide enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing caused by your tinnitus. These devices can be tuned to produce certain sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Medications: Tinnitus is sometimes treated with experimental medication. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This widely utilized method has helped lots of people do just that.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will most likely need to explore several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be obvious. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But numerous different treatments are available that could decrease the symptoms. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.