You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve noticed just how loud (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. At times, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You don’t know if you should come in and see 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 prepared.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is incredibly common. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is normally split into one of two categories:
- 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. Managing the root medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. 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 normally very difficult to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to treat your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically go away when the root medical issue is treated. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that is 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 related to a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not respond to antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
You’ll want to make an appointment to get a consultation so we personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There is normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in situations where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Treatments, instead center around relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you manage the symptoms of both ailments. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (because of hearing loss). When you use a hearing aid it raises the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly utilized strategy created to help you reach just that.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are made to supply enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing caused by your tinnitus. These devices can be attenuated to generate specific sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. However, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
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 probably won’t be obvious. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are many treatments available. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.