The ringing in your ear keeps getting worse. At first, you could barely hear it. But you’ve observed how loud and persistent the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. At times, it sounds like ringing or other noises. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.
The source of your tinnitus symptoms will substantially establish 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 are you experiencing?
Tinnitus is extremely common. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is often divided into one of two categories:
- Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical issues, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical issues, can be the cause of tinnitus. Dealing with the underlying medical problem will normally be the priority of your medical professional.
- Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing loss is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. As time passes, exposure to damaging noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, significant, and chronic tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus is often more difficult to treat.
The type of tinnitus you have, and the root cause of the hearing affliction, will determine the best ways to manage those symptoms.
Treating medical tinnitus
Your medical tinnitus symptoms will typically clear up when the root medical problem is treated. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is caused by a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection goes away, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
- Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not respond to antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
- Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
If your tinnitus is a result of a medical problem, you’ll want to see us to get individualized treatment options.
Managing non-medical tinnitus
Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure particularly if it’s caused by hearing loss. Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by relieving symptoms is the normal course of action.
- Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is getting worse as your hearing worsens. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else becomes quieter (due to hearing loss). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by amping up the volume of everything else.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some cases, you can be trained to disregard the sounds of your tinnitus. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you reach just that.
- Medications: There are some experimental medications available for treating tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by mixtures of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. However, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
- Noise-masking devices: Sometimes referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are made to supply enough sound to decrease your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing brought on by your tinnitus. These devices can be calibrated to produce certain sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
Find what works
For the majority of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s triggering our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll need to try multiple strategies in order to effectively treat your own hearing problems. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But there are numerous treatments available. The trick is finding the one that works for you.