You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could barely notice it. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how noisy (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. At times, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is buzzing in the ears managed?
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly determine what treatment will be most appropriate for you. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common. There can be a variety of 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 inherent medical issue, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Managing the root medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is triggered by hearing damage or hearing impairment is typically referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Significant, persistent, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage caused by long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). Non-medical tinnitus is often more challenging to treat.
The best way to treat your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you have.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally improve when the underlying medical issue is treated. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to do surgery to remove any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hydrocortisone: Some types of infections will not react to antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic treatments. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these cases to manage other 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 up.
If your tinnitus is a result of a medical issue, you’ll want to see us to receive personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are often much more difficult to detect and treat than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Treatments, instead focus on alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are made to supply enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing due to your tinnitus. These devices can be attenuated to produce certain sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This widely used method has helped lots of people do just that.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. Still, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing worsens. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing impairment). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
Find what works
In order to successfully treat your hearing issues you will probably need to explore several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be obvious. 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.