The buzzing in your ear keeps worsening. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of things. But you’ve observed 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 considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears treated?
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly determine what approach will be most suitable for you. But there are certain common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus therapy.
What kind of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is very common. There can be a variety of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is normally divided into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical problem, like an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical providers will usually try to treat the root issue as their main priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. As time passes, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more challenging to treat.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the root cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally clear up when the underlying medical problem is treated. 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’s causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For instance, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these situations to manage other 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 goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to get a consultation so we personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Managing non-medical tinnitus
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There is normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in situations where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some circumstances, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you achieve just that.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing worsens. When you have hearing loss everything externally becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus noises seem louder. When you utilize a hearing aid it raises the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus sounds seem quieter.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to provide enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing due to your tinnitus. These devices can be calibrated to produce certain sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
Find what works
For most of us, it won’t be completely clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll need to try numerous strategies in order to effectively treat your own hearing issues. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. Finding the right one for you is the trick.