Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

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

You have a ringing in your ears and it’s not getting any better, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could hardly notice it. But after being at the construction site all day (for work), you’ve noticed just how loud (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. These sounds can take many forms, like ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should contact us or how ringing in your ears could even be managed.

The management of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will differ from person to person and depend greatly on the source of your hearing issues. But your own tinnitus treatment will share some common threads with others that can help you get ready.

There are a couple of different types of tinnitus

Tinnitus is not uncommon. The ringing or buzzing (or any number of noises) in your ear can be caused by a variety of root issues. So in terms of treatment, tinnitus is normally split into one of two categories:

  • Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an underlying medical issue, like an ear infection, excessive earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Medical providers will typically try to treat the root problem as their primary priority.
  • Non-Medical Tinnitus: Tinnitus that is related to hearing damage or hearing loss is typically referred to as “non-medical” tinnitus. Significant, constant, 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 manage.

The best way to manage your symptoms will be determined by the root cause of your hearing issue and the kind of tinnitus you have.

Treating medical tinnitus

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

  • Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is a result of an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will probably disappear when the infection clears up.
  • Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, for example, never respond to antibiotic solutions. Hydrocortisone may be prescribed in these cases to treat other symptoms.
  • Surgery: Doctors might decide to do surgery to remove any tumor or growth that could be causing your tinnitus symptoms.

You’ll want to make an appointment to get a consultation so we customize a tinnitus treatment plan, especially if you’re coping with medical tinnitus.

Treatments for non-medical tinnitus

Usually, medical tinnitus is much easier to diagnose and treat than non-medical tinnitus. There is usually no cure for non-medical tinnitus (especially in situations where the tinnitus is caused by hearing damage). Treatments, instead focus on relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life.

  • Noise-masking devices: Sometimes referred to as “white noise machines,” these devices are designed to provide enough sound to minimize your ability to hear the buzzing or ringing brought on by your tinnitus. These devices can be tuned to produce certain sounds designed to balance out your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some instances, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. This frequently used strategy has helped many people do just that.
  • Medications: There are some experimental medications available for dealing with tinnitus. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication combinations can sometimes help minimize 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 dominant as your hearing wanes, a hearing aid could help you control the symptoms of both conditions. The tinnitus symptoms probably seem louder because everything else gets quieter (because of hearing loss). A hearing aid can help hide the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.

Find what works

For the majority of us, it won’t be completely clear what’s causing our tinnitus, so it’s likely you’ll have to try several approaches 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 many different treatment options are available that could reduce the symptoms. Finding the right one for you is the trick.

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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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