Managing Tinnitus

Woman suffering with tinnitus and grimacing laying down in bed pressing a gray pillow to her ears.

You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve noticed just how loud (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. 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 management of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend greatly on the origin of your hearing issues. But your own tinnitus therapy will share some common threads with others that can help you get prepared.

What type 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 variety of underlying problems. So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is often divided into one of two categories:

  • Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical problem, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical professionals will usually attempt to treat the root problem as their main priority.
  • Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing 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 difficult to manage.

The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing problem and the type of tinnitus you have.

Treating medical tinnitus

Your medical tinnitus symptoms will normally go away when the underlying medical issue is treated. 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 may prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go away when the infection clears up.
  • Hydrocortisone: Some types of infections will not respond to antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic solutions. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these situations to treat other symptoms.
  • Surgery: When your tinnitus is related to a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are decreasing your quality of life.

If your tinnitus is caused by a medical problem, you’ll want to contact us to receive personalized treatment options.

Non-medical tinnitus treatments

The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently a lot more difficult to identify and treat than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing loss. Treatments, instead focus on alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.

  • Medications: Tinnitus is sometimes treated with experimental medication. 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.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some situations, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. This commonly used strategy has helped lots of people do just that.
  • 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 have hearing loss everything outside gets quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
  • Noise-masking devices: These devices hide 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 specific sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.

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 attempt numerous approaches in order to successfully treat your own hearing issues. In most situations, tinnitus can’t be cured. But numerous different treatments are available that could lessen the symptoms. The trick is discovering the one that works for you.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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