You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of things. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend considerably on the source of your hearing problems. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common. There can be a number of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is usually split into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- 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. Dealing with the root medical problem will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment is usually referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Severe, constant, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage caused by long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). It’s usually very challenging to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The type of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing ailment, will determine the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally clear up when the root medical issue is addressed. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to remove any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these situations to manage other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may 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.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are often a lot more difficult to diagnose and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure especially if it’s related to hearing loss. Treatments, instead highlight alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases managed with experimental medication. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help decrease tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. This commonly utilized strategy has helped lots of people do just that.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus sounds by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be calibrated to generate certain sounds designed to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing gets worse. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing impairment). A hearing aid can help hide 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 probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be obvious. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. The trick is finding the one that works for you.