You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But you’ve noticed how loud and persistent the tinnitus sounds have become after an entire day on the job at a construction site. Sometimes, 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 addressed.
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly establish what treatment will be most appropriate for you. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common. There can be a number of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is often divided into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical problems, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Treating the underlying medical problem will normally be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally saved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. Severe, constant, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage related to long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). It’s usually very difficult to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing ailment, will determine the best ways to treat those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will usually clear up when the root 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 may prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to do surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
You’ll want to make an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
In general, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing impairment. Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help reduce tinnitus symptoms. Still, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to provide enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing due to your tinnitus. Specific sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what noises your tinnitus is generating.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing gets worse. When you are dealing with hearing loss everything outside becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus noises seem louder. When you utilize a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some instances, you can be trained to disregard the sounds of your tinnitus. This commonly used strategy has helped many people do just that.
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 multiple strategies in order to successfully treat your own hearing issues. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are various treatments available. Finding the best one for you is the trick.