You have a buzzing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of situations. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve noticed just how noisy (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. At times, it sounds like ringing or other sounds. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re not sure: how is buzzing in the ears addressed?
The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly establish what treatment will be most appropriate for you. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get prepared.
There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus
Tinnitus is not uncommon. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a variety of root issues. That’s why tinnitus is usually split into two categories when it comes to treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Inherent medical problems, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical problems, can be the cause of tinnitus. Dealing with the underlying medical problem will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually reserved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing loss. Over time, exposure to harmful noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause constant, significant, and chronic tinnitus. It’s usually very difficult to treat non-medical tinnitus.
The best way to treat your symptoms will be determined by the underlying cause of your hearing issue and the type of tinnitus you’re experiencing.
Treatments for medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will usually improve when the underlying medical problem 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 solutions. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these cases to manage other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is a result of an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Surgery: When your tinnitus is a result of a tumor or other growth, doctors may do surgery to remove the mass that’s causing your tinnitus, especially if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
You’ll want to schedule an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.
Non-medical tinnitus treatment options
Usually, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There is normally 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 strategy.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This frequently used method has helped lots of people do just that.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. However, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Noise-masking devices: Often called “white noise machines,” these devices are designed to provide enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing caused by your tinnitus. These devices can be tuned to generate specific sounds created to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid may help you manage the symptoms of both conditions. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else gets quieter (because of hearing impairment). When you utilize a hearing aid it raises the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
Find what works
In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be obvious. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there might not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are various treatments available. The trick is finding the one that works for you.