The ringing in your ear keeps getting worse. It began 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 relentless) that buzzing has become. At times, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears addressed?
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly establish what approach will be right for you. But your own tinnitus therapy will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is extremely common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of root problems. That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical issues, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical professionals will usually try to treat the underlying issue as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. 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 normally very challenging to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing problem and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically improve when the root medical issue is addressed. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will probably go away when the infection clears up.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
You’ll want to make an appointment to come see us so we can personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are often a lot more difficult to detect and treat than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. There is normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in cases where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used method designed to help you reach just that.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus noises by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. Specific sounds can be programmed into these devices depending on what noises your tinnitus is creating.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more prominent as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid may help you control the symptoms of both ailments. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else gets quieter (due to hearing loss). When you utilize a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the external world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will most likely need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be obvious. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are numerous treatments available. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.