You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could barely notice it. But you’ve observed how loud and persistent the tinnitus noises have become after an entire day on the job at a construction site. These sounds can take many forms, like 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 treated.
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly determine what approach will be most appropriate for you. But there are certain common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus therapy.
What kind of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is extremely common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of underlying issues. So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is often split into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical problem, such as an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Treating the root medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally saved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. Severe, constant, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage caused by long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). It’s normally very challenging to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the root cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically improve when the root medical issue is treated. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to do surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is related to an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will probably disappear when the infection clears up.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
If your tinnitus is a result of a medical problem, you’ll want to contact us to get personalized treatment options.
Managing non-medical tinnitus
Usually, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Treatments, instead center around relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant 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 gets quieter (because of hearing loss). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus sounds by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be tuned to generate specific sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some instances, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you achieve just that.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases managed with experimental medication. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. However, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
Find what works
In order to successfully treat your hearing issues you will probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be clear. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But many different treatment options are available that could decrease the symptoms. Finding the best one for you is the trick.