You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of situations. But you’ve observed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. At times, it sounds like ringing or other sounds. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend significantly on the source of your hearing problems. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.
What type of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is not uncommon. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by various root issues. That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical problems, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Dealing with the root medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing loss is usually referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Severe, 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 best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the kind of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical ailment, it’s likely that managing your original illness or ailment will relieve the ringing in your ears. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely disappear when the infection clears.
- Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not react to antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these situations to treat other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is related to a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
Usually, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and treat than non-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.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing gets worse. When you are dealing with hearing impairment everything outside becomes 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 sounds seem quieter.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used method designed to help you reach just that.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating 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.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are designed to provide enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing brought on by your tinnitus. These devices can be calibrated to produce specific sounds designed to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will most likely need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be clear. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are numerous treatments available. Finding the best one for you is the trick.