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 after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. These noises can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially 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.
What kind of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is extremely common. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical problem, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical professionals will typically attempt to treat the underlying problem as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is related to hearing damage or hearing impairment is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. Significant, constant, 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 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 have.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will usually clear up when the underlying medical problem is addressed. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is caused by an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will probably go-away when the infection clears.
- 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: When your tinnitus is related to a tumor or other growth, doctors could do surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are decreasing your quality of life.
If your tinnitus is caused by a medical problem, you’ll want to see us to receive individualized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Usually, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing loss. Treatments, instead center around treating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medications: Tinnitus is sometimes treated 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 speak with us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some cases, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. This widely utilized method has helped many individuals do just that.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more dominant as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid could help you manage the symptoms of both conditions. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else gets quieter (because of hearing loss). When you utilize a hearing aid it raises the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing caused by your tinnitus. Certain sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is creating.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will probably need to try out several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be clear. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are many treatments available. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.