The ringing in your ear keeps worsening. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of situations. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other sounds. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is ringing in the ears treated?
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially determine what approach will be right 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 number of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is normally split into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical issues, including ear infections, too much earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical providers will typically attempt to treat the underlying problem as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is triggered by hearing damage or hearing loss is usually known as “non-medical” tinnitus. As time passes, exposure to harmful noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, severe, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is usually more challenging to manage.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing affliction, will determine the best ways to treat those symptoms.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will usually improve when the root medical issue is treated. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might 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 return to normal.
- Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not react to antibiotics. For instance, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to do surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
If your tinnitus is a result of a medical issue, you’ll want to contact us to get personalized treatment options.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
Usually, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There’s normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in situations where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases treated with experimental medication. 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 talk to us.
- Noise-masking devices: Often referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are created to provide 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 balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some instances, you can be trained to disregard the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely utilized strategy created to help you reach just that.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you manage the symptoms of both conditions. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (because of hearing impairment). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
Find what works
For most of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s triggering our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to try multiple approaches in order to effectively treat your own hearing problems. 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 finding the one that works for you.