The buzzing in your ear keeps worsening. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of situations. But you’ve noticed how loud and constant 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’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears managed?
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will differ from person to person and depend greatly on the source of your hearing issues. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is not uncommon. The buzzing or ringing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of root issues. That’s why tinnitus is usually divided into two categories in terms of 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 usually attempt to treat the root problem as their main priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. Severe, persistent, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage caused by long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). It’s normally very difficult to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing affliction, will establish the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally improve when the underlying medical issue is treated. Here are a few treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not respond to antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor may prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by 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.
If your tinnitus is caused by a medical problem, you’ll want to see us to receive individualized treatment options.
Treatments for 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 (particularly in situations where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Treatments, instead focus on 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. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing loss). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some instances, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly utilized method designed to help you reach just that.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus noises by creating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be tuned to produce certain sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for treating tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help reduce tinnitus symptoms. Still, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
Find what works
In order to successfully treat your hearing issues you will probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be clear. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But numerous different treatment options are available that could reduce the symptoms. Finding the best one for you is the trick.