You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly hear it. But you’ve noticed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. These noises can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly establish what approach will be most appropriate for you. But there are certain common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus therapy.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is not uncommon. 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: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical problem, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Medical professionals will typically try to treat the root problem as their main priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing loss is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. Significant, 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 challenging to manage.
The best way to treat your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing problem and the type of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally go away when the underlying medical problem is treated. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is related to 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.
- Hydrocortisone: Some kinds of infections will not respond to antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
You’ll want to make an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are often a lot more difficult to detect and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask 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 produce certain sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more prominent as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid may help you manage the symptoms of both ailments. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing loss). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. However, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This frequently utilized strategy has helped lots of people do just that.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to try numerous approaches in order to effectively treat your own hearing problems. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But many different treatments are available that could reduce the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.