The ringing in your ear keeps getting worse. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of things. But you’ve noticed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is ringing in the ears treated?
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will vary from person to person and depend greatly on the origin of your hearing issues. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get prepared.
What kind of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is extremely common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a variety of root problems. That’s why tinnitus is usually divided into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical problem, such as an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical professionals will typically try to treat the root problem as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally saved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing loss. As time passes, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, significant, and chronic tinnitus. It’s usually very difficult to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing problem and the kind of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is related to a root medical condition, it’s likely that managing your original illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is caused by an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go away when the infection clears up.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is a result of a tumor or other growth, doctors could do surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
If your tinnitus is related to a medical problem, you’ll want to contact us to receive individualized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
Usually, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure especially if it’s caused by hearing loss. Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing gets worse. When you have hearing loss everything externally gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. When you use a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the external world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. This frequently used strategy has helped lots of people do just that.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing due to your tinnitus. Certain sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what noises your tinnitus is producing.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
Find what works
For most of us, it won’t be completely clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to attempt numerous approaches in order to successfully treat your own hearing issues. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But many different treatment options are available that could lessen the symptoms. The trick is finding the one that works for you.