How Is Tinnitus Treated?
Tinnitus treatment takes many different forms, as there are multiple causes. In some cases, no treatment is necessary, as symptoms are mild and short-lived. If you’ve been to a concert, for example, you may find that your ears are ringing when you get into bed. By the morning, it’s highly likely that any noise will have vanished and therefore, no treatment will be required. In more severe cases, a hearing specialist may recommend treatment options that are designed to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Deciding on the best treatment option
The treatment options recommended by hearing care professionals will depend largely on the cause of tinnitus. Sometimes, there is an underlying cause, such as an infection, an injury or a condition that affects the ear, and treating the root cause will improve symptoms of tinnitus. If there is no apparent cause, treatment will be focused on making it easier to live with tinnitus and trying to ameliorate the situation and minimize the impact of tinnitus on daily life. When you have an appointment with a doctor, they will discuss the findings of tests and examinations with you and talk you through some treatment options.
How is tinnitus treated?
Treatment options for tinnitus include:
- Hearing aids: if you suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus, a hearing specialist may recommend using hearing aids as the best treatment option. Hearing aids offered by a hearing health provider are designed to improve your hearing by amplifying sounds. In the case of tinnitus, patients often experience more intense symptoms when there is a lack of noise. Using a hearing aid enables you to pick up sounds you may not have been able to hear before and filling this void can help to improve symptoms of tinnitus. If you are advised to consider hearing aids by a hearing care professional, they will explore the options with you and answer questions to help you find a solution that works.
- Sound therapy: this is a form of therapy, which uses exposure to neutral sounds to distract the brain from sounds associated with tinnitus.
- Counseling: if tinnitus is getting you down, counseling can help to make it easier to manage day-to-day life with tinnitus and enable you to develop effective coping strategies.
- Tinnitus retraining therapy: this form of treatment focuses on retraining the brain to respond to the sounds linked to tinnitus in a different way.
Self-help for tinnitus
Many people who have tinnitus find that certain triggers make their symptoms worse. There are lots of self-help techniques you can employ to try and prevent this from happening. Stress is a common trigger for tinnitus sufferers. Although it’s hard to avoid stress in this day and age, regular exercise, rest, creative activities and meditation can all help. It’s also advisable to avoid caffeine, especially late at night and to protect your ears from loud noises. If you’re wearing headphones, for example, keep the noise level low.
When to seek professional advice
Tinnitus isn’t always a serious problem, and it often disappears without the need for treatment. However, if you have recurrent episodes or your symptoms are getting worse, this is a sign that there may be an underlying issue and it’s a good idea to seek advice at this point.