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Tinnitus Treatment Options

Tinnitus is often thought to be a condition in and of itself but, in reality, is typically a symptom of many other conditions. Before diving into the conditions that cause tinnitus, let’s define what this actually is. Tinnitus, more commonly referred to as a ringing, buzzing, whooshing or whistling noise in one or both ears, can be constant or intermittent, and is almost always subjective, meaning the only person who hears it is the person suffering from it.

What causes tinnitus?

Many conditions cause tinnitus. Audiologists and doctors recognize that tinnitus is most commonly associated with hearing loss. However, other conditions that can cause tinnitus include:

  • Earwax blockage
  • Ear infection
  • Changes to the ear bone
  • Injuries to the head or neck
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
  • Ototoxic medications
  • Blood vessel disorders or changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Muscle spasms in the inner ear

How to treat tinnitus

Because there are so many conditions that cause tinnitus, treatment can involve many different options. The path to treatment requires a thorough assessment of what is creating the tinnitus. From there, your audiologist will recommend the best treatment for your needs.

If tinnitus is caused by some type of underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure, stress or impacted earwax, your healthcare team will first try to treat that condition. Tinnitus treatment examples include:

  • Earwax removal
  • Changing medications
  • Treating a blood vessel condition
  • Taking antibiotics to treat infections

In other cases, additional support and treatment options, like hearing aids or other noise suppression devices might be suggested. White noise machines and masking devices provide external but soothing sounds that offer distracting noise that can help take an individuals’ mind off of the tinnitus. Sometimes, behavioral therapists are consulted to provide retraining therapies that can help an individual cope more positively with the tinnitus.

What you can do

In addition to seeking medical and professional support, those suffering from tinnitus can help themselves, too.

  • Try alternative therapies, including acupuncture or hypnosis
  • Seek out support groups
  • Educate yourself

If you’re unsure what is causing your tinnitus, contact Physicians Hearing Center today for a consultation. A diagnosis is always the first step toward treating your tinnitus and making your life more manageable.