The buzzing in your ear keeps getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve realized just how noisy (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. These sounds can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears managed?
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly determine what approach will be most appropriate for you. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.
What kind of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is not uncommon. The buzzing or ringing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of underlying problems. That’s why tinnitus is often split into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical issues, 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 usually saved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. Severe, constant, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage related to long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). It’s usually very difficult to manage non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to treat 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 a result of an underlying medical ailment, it’s likely that managing your initial illness or disorder will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is related to an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go away when the infection clears up.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is triggered by a tumor or other growth, doctors may perform surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For instance, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are often much more difficult to diagnose and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing impairment. Treatments, instead highlight treating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes called “white noise machines,” these devices are created to provide enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing brought on by your tinnitus. These devices can be calibrated to generate specific sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing worsens. When you are dealing with hearing loss everything externally gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This commonly used strategy has helped many people do just that.
- Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for treating tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help reduce tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will probably need to explore several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be obvious. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But numerous different treatments are available that could decrease the symptoms. The trick is finding the one that works for you.