The ringing in your ear keeps getting worse. At first, you could barely 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. These sounds can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is ringing in the ears managed?
The management of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will vary from person to person and depend considerably on the source of your hearing issues. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is not unusual. There can be a variety of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is often divided into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical issues, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Managing the underlying medical problem will normally be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is related to hearing damage or hearing impairment is usually referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (such as the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. It’s usually very challenging to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The type of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing affliction, will determine the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is caused by a root 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: Certain types of infections will not respond to antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic solutions. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to manage other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is caused by an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to remove any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Managing non-medical tinnitus
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing loss. Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Noise-masking devices: Often referred to as “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 calibrated to generate certain sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for treating tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some situations, you can be trained to disregard the sounds of your tinnitus. This frequently 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 worsens. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else gets quieter (because of hearing loss). When you use a hearing aid it raises the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will most likely 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 might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are various treatments available. The trick is discovering the one that works for you.