You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly hear it. But you’ve noticed how loud and persistent the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. These noises can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially determine what approach will be right for you. But your own tinnitus therapy will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
What kind of tinnitus are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is not uncommon. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a variety of underlying issues. That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical issue, such as an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical providers will usually attempt to treat the root issue as their main priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. 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 treat non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the root cause of your hearing problem and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is related to a root medical ailment, it’s likely that treating your original illness or ailment will relieve the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go away when the infection clears up.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to do surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure especially if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal strategy.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus noises by creating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. Specific sounds can be programmed into these devices depending on what noises your tinnitus is generating.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more prominent as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you control the symptoms of both ailments. When you are dealing with hearing loss everything outside becomes 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 noises seem quieter.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can obtain training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you achieve just that.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases treated with experimental medication. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to try several approaches in order to successfully treat your own hearing problems. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. The trick is finding the one that works for you.