The buzzing in your ear keeps getting worse. At first, you could hardly hear it. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how persistent) that buzzing has become. These sounds can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You’re considering coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: 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 there are some common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus treatment.
What kind of tinnitus do you have?
Tinnitus is extremely common. 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 normally divided into two categories in terms of treatment:
- Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical problem, like an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Managing the root medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually saved for tinnitus caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment. 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 manage.
The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing condition, will determine the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
If your tinnitus is a result of a root medical condition, it’s likely that managing your initial illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
- Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these situations to manage other symptoms.
- Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is caused by an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will return to normal.
If your tinnitus is caused by a medical issue, you’ll want to contact us to receive personalized treatment options.
Treatments for non-medical tinnitus
The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently a lot more difficult to detect and manage than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. There’s usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in cases where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to disregard your tinnitus sounds. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used method created to help you achieve just that.
- Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid may help you manage the symptoms of both ailments. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else gets quieter (due to hearing impairment). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be decreased by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes called “white noise machines,” these devices are designed to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing due to your tinnitus. Specific sounds can be tuned into these devices depending on what sounds your tinnitus is creating.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be completely clear what’s triggering our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to attempt numerous approaches in order to successfully treat your own hearing problems. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But there are many treatments available. The trick is finding the one that works for you.