Managing Tinnitus

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

The ringing in your ear keeps worsening. At first, you could hardly notice it. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve realized just how loud (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. These sounds can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of noises. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.

The treatment of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend significantly on the source of your hearing issues. But there are certain common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.

What kind of tinnitus do you have?

Tinnitus is extremely common. There can be a variety of causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus noises you’re hearing). That’s why tinnitus is normally split into two categories in terms of treatment:

  • Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical issue, such as an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Treating the underlying medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
  • Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is related to hearing damage or hearing impairment is usually referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. As time passes, exposure to harmful noise (like the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. It’s usually very difficult to treat non-medical tinnitus.

The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing affliction, will determine the best ways to treat those symptoms.

Treating medical tinnitus

If your tinnitus is caused by an underlying medical condition, it’s likely that managing your initial illness or ailment will alleviate the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:

  • Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to remove any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Once the infection clears up, it’s likely that your hearing will go back to normal.
  • Hydrocortisone: Some kinds of infections will not respond to antibiotics. Viral infections, for instance, never respond to antibiotic treatments. In these cases, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you control other symptoms.

You’ll want to make an appointment to come see us so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, particularly if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.

Treatments for non-medical tinnitus

The causes of non-medical tinnitus are frequently a lot harder to diagnose and treat than is typically the case with medical tinnitus. There’s usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (particularly in cases 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. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a widely used strategy created to help you achieve just that.
  • Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for treating tinnitus. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help decrease tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
  • Hearing aids: If your tinnitus turns out to be more prominent as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you control the symptoms of both ailments. When you have hearing loss everything externally becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus sounds seem louder. When you use a hearing aid it raises the volume of the outside world making your tinnitus noises seem quieter.
  • Noise-masking devices: Often 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 tuned to generate specific sounds created to balance out 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 need to attempt multiple approaches in order to successfully treat your own hearing issues. In most cases, tinnitus can’t be cured. But numerous different treatment options are available that could decrease the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.

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.