You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could barely hear it. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve noticed just how loud (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. These noises 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 source of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially establish what treatment will be most suitable for you. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of root problems. So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is usually split into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical problem, such as an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Managing the underlying medical problem will normally be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually saved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. Significant, persistent, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage related to long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). Non-medical tinnitus is usually more challenging to manage.
The best way to treat your symptoms will be determined by the root cause of your hearing problem and the type of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally go away when the underlying medical issue is addressed. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely disappear when the infection clears up.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For instance, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these situations to treat other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is a result of a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
If your tinnitus is caused by a medical problem, you’ll want to see us to receive personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Usually, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing loss. Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus sounds by creating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. Certain sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is producing.
- 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. Still, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more prominent as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you control the symptoms of both ailments. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else gets quieter (because of hearing loss). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used method designed to help you achieve just that.
Find what works
For most of us, it won’t be completely clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll need to try numerous strategies in order to effectively treat your own hearing issues. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. Finding the best one for you is the trick.