The buzzing in your ear keeps getting worse. At first, you could barely hear it. 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’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is ringing in the ears addressed?
The management of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend substantially on the source of your hearing problems. 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. The buzzing or ringing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by various underlying problems. So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is often split into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical issue, such as an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Dealing with the root medical problem will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing loss. 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). Non-medical tinnitus is often more difficult to manage.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the root cause of your hearing issue and the kind of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally clear up when the root medical problem is addressed. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. In these cases, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
If your tinnitus is related to a medical issue, you’ll want to see us to receive personalized treatment options.
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 especially if it’s related to hearing loss. Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This frequently used strategy has helped lots of people do just that.
- Noise-masking devices: Often referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are made to provide enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing brought on by your tinnitus. These devices can be attenuated to generate certain sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing gets worse. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (because of hearing loss). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be obvious. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are many treatments available. Finding the right one for you is the trick.