The ringing in your ear keeps worsening. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of situations. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. These noises can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears managed?
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly establish what treatment will be right for you. But your own tinnitus therapy will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
What type of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is extremely common. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is usually divided into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical issues, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical providers will usually attempt to treat the underlying problem as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally saved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (such as the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, severe, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more challenging to treat.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing ailment, will determine the best ways to treat those symptoms.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is a result of an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that managing your original illness or disorder will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. In these situations, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to do surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is a result of an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will probably go away when the infection clears.
You’ll want to make an appointment to come see us so we personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
In general, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure especially if it’s caused by hearing loss. Treatments, instead highlight alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help reduce tinnitus symptoms. However, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more prominent as your hearing diminishes, 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 impairment). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some circumstances, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. This frequently utilized method has helped many people do just that.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing due to your tinnitus. Specific sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is creating.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll need to attempt numerous strategies in order to effectively treat your own hearing issues. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are numerous treatments available. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.