The ringing in your ear keeps worsening. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of things. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. These sounds can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is buzzing in the ears managed?
The management of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend significantly on the origin of your hearing issues. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get prepared.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is extremely common. There can be a number of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is normally split into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical problem, like an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Treating the underlying medical issue will normally be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is triggered by hearing damage or hearing loss is typically known 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 root cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is a result of an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that treating your initial illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is a result of 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 go back to normal.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to do surgery to remove any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
If your tinnitus is a result of a medical problem, you’ll want to contact us to receive personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Usually, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. There’s normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in situations where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- 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 specific sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases treated with experimental medication. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This frequently utilized strategy has helped lots of individuals do just that.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing gets worse. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (because of hearing impairment). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will most likely need to explore several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be obvious. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are numerous treatments available. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.