How is Tinnitus Treated?

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

The buzzing in your ear keeps worsening. It began quietly enough, one of those “is it really there” sort of situations. But you’ve noticed how loud and constant the tinnitus noises have become after a full day on the job at a construction site. These sounds can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You’re thinking about coming in to see us, but you’re wondering: how is ringing in the ears addressed?

The origin of your tinnitus symptoms will significantly determine what approach will be most appropriate for you. But there are certain common threads that can help you get ready for your own tinnitus treatment.

There are a couple of different types of tinnitus

Tinnitus is not uncommon. The buzzing or ringing (or any number of sounds) in your ear can be caused by a number of underlying problems. So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is usually divided into one of two categories:

  • Medical Tinnitus: Underlying medical problems, including ear infections, excessive earwax, a growth, or other medical issues, can be the cause of tinnitus. Managing the underlying medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
  • Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is generally reserved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. Significant, persistent, and chronic tinnitus can be the outcome of hearing damage related to long term exposure to loud noise (like at your construction site). 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 manage those symptoms.

Treating medical tinnitus

Your medical tinnitus symptoms will usually clear up when the underlying medical problem is addressed. Treatments for medical tinnitus could include:

  • Hydrocortisone: Certain types of infections will not react to antibiotics. For instance, antibiotics never work on viral infections. In these situations, your doctor might prescribe hydrocortisone to help you manage other symptoms.
  • Surgery: Doctors may decide to perform surgery to get rid of any tumor or growth that might be causing your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Antibiotics: Your doctor may 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 return to normal.

You’ll want to schedule an appointment to get a consultation so we personalize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re dealing with medical tinnitus.

Non-medical tinnitus treatment options

In general, medical tinnitus is a lot easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. Non-medical tinnitus has no cure especially if it’s related to hearing loss. Treatments, instead highlight alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life.

  • Medications: There are some experimental medicines available for dealing with tinnitus. As an example, tinnitus symptoms can sometimes be reduced by combinations of anti-anxiety medication and steroids. However, you’ll want to speak with us before making any decisions about medications.
  • Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus noises by creating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be tuned to produce specific sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid could help you control the symptoms of both conditions. When you have hearing loss everything outside becomes quieter and that can make your tinnitus noises seem louder. A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some situations, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. This widely used method has helped lots of people do just that.

Find what works

In order to effectively treat your hearing issues you will probably need to explore several strategies as the exact cause of your tinnitus probably won’t be clear. Depending on the source of your buzzing or ringing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But numerous different treatment options are available that could lessen the symptoms. The trick is finding the one that works for you.

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.