The ringing in your ear keeps getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But you’ve noticed how loud and persistent the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other sounds. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is buzzing in the ears addressed?
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially determine what treatment will be most suitable for you. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus therapy.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is incredibly common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by various underlying problems. So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is often divided into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical problems, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical providers will typically try to treat the underlying issue as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is triggered by hearing damage or hearing loss is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. Significant, persistent, 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 usually very difficult to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing ailment, will establish the best ways to treat those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is a result of an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that treating your original illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is related to a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control 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 goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
If your tinnitus is caused by a medical problem, you’ll want to contact us to receive personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
Typically, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There is normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in cases where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This frequently utilized strategy has helped many individuals do just that.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help decrease tinnitus symptoms. However, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus sounds by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. Certain sounds can be programmed into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is generating.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing worsens. When you are dealing with hearing loss everything outside gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s triggering our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll need to attempt multiple approaches in order to successfully treat your own hearing issues. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are many treatments available. Finding the best one for you is the trick.