Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, 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 improving, if anything it’s getting worse. At first, you could barely notice it. But after spending all day at the construction site (for work), you’ve noticed just how noisy (and how relentless) that buzzing has become. These noises can take many forms, such as ringing, buzzing, or any number of sounds. You don’t know if you should come in and see us or how ringing in your ears could even be treated.

The management of tinnitus (that’s what that ringing is called) will vary from person to person and depend substantially on the origin of your hearing issues. But your own tinnitus therapy 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 usually split into one of two categories:

  • Medical Tinnitus: Some tinnitus symptoms are caused by an inherent medical issue, like an ear infection, too much earwax, or a growth, among other conditions. Treating the underlying medical issue will usually be the priority of your medical professional.
  • Non-Medical Tinnitus: “Non-medical” nomenclature is usually saved for tinnitus caused by damaged hearing or hearing impairment. As time passes, exposure to damaging noise (such as the noise at your construction site) can cause persistent, severe, and chronic tinnitus. It’s normally very difficult to manage non-medical tinnitus.

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

Treating medical tinnitus

If your tinnitus is related to a root medical condition, it’s likely that treating your initial illness or disorder will relieve the ringing in your ears. Here are some treatments for medical tinnitus:

  • Surgery: When your tinnitus is related to a tumor or other growth, doctors could perform surgery to remove the mass that is causing your tinnitus, particularly if your symptoms are diminishing your quality of life.
  • Hydrocortisone: Not all infections can be addressed with antibiotics. For example, antibiotics never work on viral infections. Hydrocortisone might be prescribed in these situations to treat other symptoms.
  • Antibiotics: If your tinnitus is related to an ear infection (that is, a bacterial ear infection), your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Your tinnitus symptoms will most likely go away when the infection clears up.

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

Managing non-medical tinnitus

Usually, medical tinnitus is much 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.

  • Noise-masking devices: These devices hide your tinnitus noises by generating enough white noise to allow the buzzing or ringing to fade into the background. These devices can be attenuated to produce certain sounds created to offset your tinnitus symptoms.
  • Medications: Tinnitus is sometimes managed with experimental medication. For instance, steroids and anti-anxiety medication mixtures can sometimes help minimize tinnitus symptoms. But before you make any decisions, you’ll want to talk to us.
  • Hearing aids: If your tinnitus becomes more dominant as your hearing diminishes, a hearing aid may help you manage the symptoms of both conditions. The tinnitus symptoms will likely seem louder because everything else gets quieter (due to hearing loss). A hearing aid can help mask the sound of your tinnitus by raising the volume of everything else.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In some cases, you can be trained to disregard the noises of your tinnitus. This frequently used method has helped lots of individuals do just that.

Find what works

In order to effectively treat your hearing problems you will most likely need to try out several approaches as the exact cause of your tinnitus most likely won’t be obvious. Depending on the source of your ringing or buzzing, there may not be a cure for your tinnitus. But numerous different treatment options are available that could reduce the symptoms. Finding the best 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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