You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But you’ve noticed how loud and constant the tinnitus sounds have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears managed?
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 there are certain common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus treatment.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is not uncommon. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of root problems. That’s why tinnitus is usually split into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical problem, such as an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical professionals will usually try to treat the underlying issue as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. As time passes, exposure to harmful noise (such as the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is usually more difficult to treat.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the root cause of your hearing problem and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is a result of an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that managing your original illness or ailment will relieve the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is a result of a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly 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: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
You’ll want to make an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
In general, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and treat 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 strategy.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for treating tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help decrease tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
- 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. Certain sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is producing.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This commonly used method has helped many people do just that.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing gets worse. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (because of hearing loss). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
Find what works
In order to successfully treat your hearing issues you will probably need to try out several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be obvious. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But numerous different treatment options are available that could decrease the symptoms. Finding the best one for you is the trick.