Tinnitus is commonly known as a ringing in the ears. However, it can be a variety of different sounds like buzzing, whooshing, whistling, chirping, hissing, or other noises, not just a ringing type noise. If you have tinnitus, you are definitely not alone. According to WebMD, tinnitus affects an estimated 50 million adults in the U.S. There are varying degrees of severity and there is not a scientifically proven cure currently available for most cases of chronic tinnitus. The good news is that there are solutions available and we have a list of 15 tinnitus treatment options for you.
Treatment for Tinnitus Depends on the Cause
Different treatment options are available for tinnitus, but the first step is to uncover the cause of the tinnitus first. When you visit your doctor or audiologist, you can help him or her narrow down the cause of your tinnitus by identifying several factors. Healthy Hearing suggests bringing in the answers to these questions to your hearing care professional along with a list of the medications you are taking:
- How long has this been going on?
- Is it intermittent or constant?
- Is it worse at certain points of the day?
- Is it a pulsating sensation?
- In which ear do you hear the tinnitus? Both?
- How loud is the noise?
- Is the pitch high or low?
- It the issue extremely bothersome or just a little irritating?
- Are there certain conditions that make it worse such as exposure to noise or certain foods or beverages?
- Does the sound change?
Once your hearing professional has determined the cause and severity of your tinnitus, then they can discuss the different treatment options with you.
Here are 15 different treatment options available:
- Changing Medications. Some medications can cause tinnitus, so the list of your medications can rule out or identify if that could be the cause.
- Removal of Excess Earwax. In some cases a build up of earwax can cause the tinnitus and your hearing professional can remove it for you,
- Treatment for an Ear Infection. If the ringing in your ears is due to an ear infection, then prescription ear drops can fight off the infection and clear up the tinnitus you are experiencing as a result.
- Surgery. In some rare cases, a tumor, cyst, or calcium deposit might be the cause of the tinnitus and surgery to remove it will also stop the ringing noises.
- Prescribed Medications. Different drugs have been tried to help alleviate tinnitus and your doctor might prescribe one to see if it helps quiet the noises for you.
- Treatment of a Medical Condition. For some patients, a medical condition could be causing the tinnitus and once the condition is treated, the tinnitus subsides. These medical conditions include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, circulatory problems, anemia, allergies, underactive thyroid gland, autoimmune disease, or diabetes.
- Dental Treatments. In some cases, tinnitus is caused by a problem with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). If this is the case, dental treatment can relieve the symptoms.
- White Noise. For many tinnitus sufferers, playing white noise or other sounds in the background can help tune out the ringing noises. Sound machines can play white noise or environment sounds like rain falling, ocean waves, etc. often work well. In some cases fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers or air conditioners can also provide white noise.
- Masking Devices. This is a device similar to a hearing aid that plays a more pleasant sound than the tinnitus sound.
- Hearing Aid. If tinnitus is a result of hearing loss, then often being fitted with a hearing aid will help reduce the tinnitus.
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). WebMD explains that TRT depends on the brain’s natural ability to “habituate” a signal and filter it out on a subconscious level so that it does not reach conscious perception.
- Cognitive Therapy. This is counseling that helps someone with tinnitus modify his or her reaction to it. Cognitive therapy is often used in conjunction with other types of therapy like masking or medication.
- Biofeedback. A relaxation technique used to help people manage stress by changing their reaction to it.
- Cochlear Implants. These devices are usually implanted in the ear to treat severe deafness; however they have also shown to be helpful in treating tinnitus-related hearing loss.
- Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM). This is a new treatment model that is designed to address the needs of all patients who complain about tinnitus, while efficiently utilizing clinical resources. It was developed by the Veterans Health Administration/Department of Veterans Affairs. (Source.)
Hearing Solutions, Inc. Cutting Edge Hearing Loss Solutions
At Hearing Solutions, Inc., we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health including tinnitus. If you have any questions about the treatment options for tinnitus and what is right for you, please contact us at Hearing Solutions, Inc. to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing professionals today.