How is Tinnitus Managed?

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 improving, if anything it’s getting worse. It started off quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” kind of situations. 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 noises. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be addressed.

The management of tinnitus (that’s what that buzzing is called) will differ from person to person and depend considerably on the origin of your hearing problems. But there are certain common threads that can help you prepare for your own tinnitus therapy.

There are a couple of different kinds of tinnitus

Tinnitus is not unusual. There can be numerous causes for the ringing (or whatever tinnitus sounds you’re hearing). So when it comes to treatment, tinnitus is usually split into one of two categories:

  • Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical problem, such as an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other ailments. Medical providers will usually try to treat the root problem as their primary priority.
  • Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is caused by hearing damage or hearing impairment is typically known as “non-medical” tinnitus. Significant, 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 difficult to treat.

The kind of tinnitus you have, and the underlying cause of the hearing ailment, will establish the best ways to manage those symptoms.

Treatments for medical tinnitus

If your tinnitus is a result of a root medical ailment, it’s likely that treating your original illness or ailment will relieve the ringing in your ears. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:

  • Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic treatments. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these situations to manage other symptoms.
  • Antibiotics: Your doctor might prescribe you with antibiotics if your tinnitus is related to a bacterial ear infection. Your tinnitus symptoms will probably go-away when the infection clears.
  • Surgery: Doctors might decide to perform surgery to eliminate any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus 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.

Non-medical tinnitus treatment options

Typically, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and manage than non-medical tinnitus. There’s normally no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in cases where the tinnitus is a result of hearing damage). Instead, treatment to improve quality of life by alleviating symptoms is the normal strategy.

  • Noise-masking devices: Sometimes referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are created to provide enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the ringing or buzzing due to your tinnitus. These devices can be tuned to produce specific sounds designed to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Hearing aids: A hearing aid can help if your tinnitus is becoming worse as your hearing gets worse. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else gets quieter (because of hearing loss). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
  • Medications: Tinnitus is in some cases managed with experimental medication. For example, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to speak with us.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: You can get training that will help you learn to ignore your tinnitus sounds. This frequently used strategy has helped lots of individuals do just that.

Find what works

For most of us, it won’t be immediately clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to try several strategies 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 reduce the symptoms. Finding the best 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.

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