You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could barely notice it. But you’ve observed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. These sounds can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be addressed.
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will vary from person to person and depend significantly on the origin of your hearing issues. But there are certain common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus therapy.
What type of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is very common. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by a variety of root problems. So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is usually divided into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical issue, like an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical providers will usually try to treat the root issue as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually saved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. Over time, exposure to damaging noise (such as the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is usually more challenging to treat.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing problem and the kind of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally improve when the underlying medical issue is treated. Treatments for medical tinnitus could 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 goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that could 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.
If your tinnitus is a result of a medical problem, you’ll want to see us to get personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently a lot harder to identify and treat than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. There’s 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.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help decrease tinnitus symptoms. However, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are designed to supply enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing due to your tinnitus. These devices can be calibrated to produce certain sounds designed to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some situations, you can be trained to ignore the noises of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly used method designed to help you achieve just that.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid may help you control the symptoms of both ailments. When you have hearing loss everything externally gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. When you use a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the external world making your tinnitus sounds seem quieter.
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 several strategies in order to successfully treat your own hearing problems. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But many different treatments are available that could lessen the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.