You have a buzzing 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” kind of situations. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve noticed just how noisy (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. At times, it sounds like ringing or other sounds. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is ringing in the ears treated?
The management of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will vary from person to person and depend substantially on the origin of your hearing problems. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is not unusual. The buzzing or ringing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by a variety of root problems. So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is normally split into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical problem, such as an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Medical professionals will usually attempt to treat the root issue as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually saved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing loss. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. It’s normally very difficult to treat non-medical tinnitus.
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 related to an underlying medical ailment, it’s likely that treating your original illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Hydrocortisone: Some kinds of infections will not respond to antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is caused by 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 return to normal.
You’ll want to schedule 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
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently a lot more difficult to detect and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure especially if it’s caused by hearing loss. Treatments, instead highlight alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing gets worse. When you have hearing loss everything outside gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. When you use a hearing aid it raises the volume of the external world making your tinnitus sounds seem quieter.
- 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.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some situations, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly used method designed to help you reach just that.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus sounds by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. Certain sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is creating.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will probably need to try out several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be clear. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But many different treatment options are available that could lessen the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.