You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But you’ve observed how loud and persistent the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. These sounds can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is ringing in the ears treated?
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will vary from person to person and depend greatly on the source of your hearing problems. But there are certain common threads that can help you get ready 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 normally divided into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical problem, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Treating the root medical problem will normally be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, significant, and chronic tinnitus. It’s normally very challenging to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing affliction, will establish the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally go away when the underlying medical problem is treated. 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 situations, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is a result of a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
You’ll want to make an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently much harder to diagnose and treat than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. There is normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in situations where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Treatments, instead highlight relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help reduce tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes called “white noise machines,” these devices are made to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing due to your tinnitus. Specific sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what noises your tinnitus is creating.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some situations, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. This frequently utilized strategy has helped many people do just that.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing gets worse. When you are dealing with hearing loss everything outside gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus noises seem louder. When you use a hearing aid it raises the volume of the external world making your tinnitus sounds seem quieter.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s triggering our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to try multiple strategies in order to effectively treat your own hearing problems. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are various treatments available. Finding the right one for you is the trick.