The ringing in your ear keeps worsening. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of situations. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve noticed just how loud (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. These noises can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.
The management of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend substantially on the origin of your hearing issues. But there are certain common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus therapy.
What kind of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is extremely common. There can be a number of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is normally divided into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical issues, including ear infections, too much earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical providers will usually try to treat the underlying problem as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is triggered by hearing damage or hearing impairment is usually referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, significant, and chronic tinnitus. It’s normally 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 kind of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally improve when the underlying medical issue is treated. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:
- Hydrocortisone: Some kinds of infections will not respond to antibiotics. For instance, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are decreasing your quality of life.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go away when the infection clears.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with 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.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing worsens. When you are dealing with hearing impairment everything externally becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. 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 provide enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing caused by your tinnitus. These devices can be calibrated to produce certain sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some cases, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly used method created to help you achieve just that.
Find what works
In order to successfully treat your hearing problems you will probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be obvious. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. Finding the right one for you is the trick.