You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But you’ve observed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. At times, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly determine what treatment will be most suitable for you. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
What kind of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is very common. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is often 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. Managing 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 impairment. Severe, 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 usually more difficult to manage.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically go away when the root medical issue is treated. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely disappear when the infection clears.
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic treatments. In these situations, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.
If your tinnitus is a result of a medical issue, you’ll want to see us to get individualized treatment options.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
Usually, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There is usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in cases where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus sounds by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be tuned to generate specific sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more prominent as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid could help you control the symptoms of both conditions. When you are dealing with hearing impairment everything externally gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Medications: Tinnitus is sometimes managed with experimental medication. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly used method designed to help you achieve just that.
Find what works
For most of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to try numerous strategies in order to successfully treat your own hearing issues. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are various treatments available. Finding the best one for you is the trick.