The buzzing in your ear keeps getting worse. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of situations. But you’ve noticed how loud and persistent the tinnitus noises have become after an entire day on the job at a construction site. At times, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.
The origin 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 prepared.
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 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 inherent medical problem, such as an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Treating the underlying medical problem will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is related to hearing damage or hearing impairment is typically referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Severe, 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 difficult to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is related to an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that treating your original illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not react to antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these situations to treat other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
You’ll want to make an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently much more difficult to diagnose and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. There is usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in cases where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Treatments, instead highlight treating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more prominent as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you manage the symptoms of both ailments. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else gets quieter (because of hearing impairment). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to supply enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing caused by your tinnitus. Specific sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is producing.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly utilized method created to help you achieve just that.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases treated with experimental medication. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. However, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
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 most likely won’t be clear. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are numerous treatments available. The trick is discovering the one that works for you.