You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly hear it. But you’ve observed how loud and constant the tinnitus sounds have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. Sometimes, it sounds like ringing or other sounds. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will greatly determine what approach will be most appropriate for you. But there are some common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus therapy.
What type of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is not uncommon. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is normally divided into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical problem, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical providers will usually try to treat the underlying problem as their primary priority.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing loss is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. 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). Non-medical tinnitus is often more challenging to treat.
The best way to treat your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the kind of tinnitus you have.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically go away when the underlying medical issue is addressed. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these situations to manage other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will probably disappear when the infection clears up.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to do surgery to remove any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatments
Typically, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s related to hearing loss. Treatments, instead focus on treating symptoms and improving the quality of life.
- Medications: Tinnitus is sometimes treated with experimental medication. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. Still, you’ll want to talk to us before making any decisions about medications.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid may help you control the symptoms of both conditions. When you are dealing with hearing loss everything outside becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some circumstances, you can be trained to ignore the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a commonly used method created to help you reach just that.
- Noise-masking devices: These devices mask your tinnitus noises by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be calibrated to produce certain sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will most likely need to try out several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be clear. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are various treatments available. The trick is identifying the one that works for you.