The ringing in your ear keeps worsening. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of things. But you’ve noticed how loud and constant the tinnitus sounds have become after an entire day on the job at a construction site. These noises 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 managed.
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will vary from person to person and depend considerably on the source of your hearing problems. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get prepared.
What kind of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is not unusual. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is often divided into two categories in terms of 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 providers will usually attempt to treat the root issue as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is related to hearing damage or hearing loss is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. Significant, constant, 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 usually more challenging to treat.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing ailment, will determine the best ways to treat those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is a result of a root medical ailment, it’s likely that managing your original illness or ailment will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these cases, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is related to an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to do surgery to remove any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
You’ll want to make an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Managing non-medical tinnitus
Usually, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing loss. Treatments, instead center around relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus noises by producing enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be attenuated to generate specific sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for treating tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. However, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some cases, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely utilized method created to help you achieve just that.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing worsens. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (because of hearing loss). 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 completely clear what’s triggering our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to attempt several strategies in order to successfully treat your own hearing issues. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are numerous treatments available. Finding the right one for you is the trick.