You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of situations. But you’ve observed how loud and persistent the tinnitus sounds have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be addressed.
The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will vary from person to person and depend considerably on the source of your hearing problems. But your own tinnitus therapy will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
There are a couple of different types of tinnitus
Tinnitus is extremely common. The buzzing or ringing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by a number of underlying issues. That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical problems, including ear infections, too much earwax, a growth, or other medical issues, can be the cause of tinnitus. Medical providers will typically try to treat the underlying problem as their first priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. As time passes, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more difficult to treat.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing ailment, will determine the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that managing your initial illness or ailment will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus may include:
- Hydrocortisone: Some types of infections will not react to antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is a result of a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
If your tinnitus is related to a medical issue, you’ll want to contact us to receive personalized treatment options.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Usually, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There’s usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in situations where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Instead, treatment to enhance quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are made to supply enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing caused by your tinnitus. Certain sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is creating.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some circumstances, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. This widely used method has helped lots of individuals do just that.
- Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases managed with experimental medication. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help decrease tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing worsens. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else gets quieter (due to hearing loss). When you use a hearing aid it boosts the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
Find what works
In order to successfully treat your hearing problems you will probably need to try out several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be clear. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are numerous treatments available. Finding the right one for you is the trick.