You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of situations. But you’ve observed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after an entire day on the job at a construction site. These noises can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is ringing in the ears managed?
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly establish what treatment will be most appropriate for you. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get prepared.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is incredibly common. The buzzing or ringing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by a number of underlying issues. That’s why tinnitus is normally split into two categories in terms of 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. Medical providers will typically try to treat the root problem as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. 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). It’s usually 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 kind of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will usually go away when the root medical issue is treated. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is related to a tumor or other growth, doctors may perform surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.
If your tinnitus is caused by a medical issue, you’ll want to see us to receive personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are often much harder to identify and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure especially if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Treatments, instead highlight relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. However, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing worsens. When you have hearing impairment everything outside becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus sounds by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be attenuated to produce certain sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you achieve just that.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be obvious. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But numerous different treatments are available that could decrease the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.