The ringing in your ear keeps getting worse. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of things. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how noisy (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. These noises can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be addressed.
The management of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will vary from person to person and depend considerably 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.
What kind of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is incredibly common. There can be a variety of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is often split into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical issues, including ear infections, too much earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical professionals will typically attempt to treat the underlying problem as their main priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually saved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. 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 treat your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the kind of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is related to an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that treating your initial illness or ailment will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is caused by an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go-away when the infection clears.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these situations to manage other symptoms.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Treatments, instead center around treating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medications: Tinnitus is sometimes treated with experimental medication. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly utilized strategy designed to help you achieve just that.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing gets worse. When you have hearing impairment everything outside becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus noises seem louder. When you use a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the external world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus sounds by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. Specific sounds can be programmed into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is producing.
Find what works
In order to successfully treat your hearing issues you will most likely need to explore several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be clear. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. Finding the best one for you is the trick.