You may need to seek tinnitus treatment if you experience a sound in your ears that has no external source and causes disruption in your daily life. Although many people think the noise is just a ringing, this is only one of many sounds that sufferers experience. Others include hissing, ringing, buzzing, chirping, or whistling. In fact, as many as 20% of Americans have experience with this condition. While for some, symptoms may clear up after a week on their own, others find that the internally produced noise interferes consistently. Many think that there’s nothing they can do, but there is a variety of options for those suffering.
Before attempting to treat you, the doctor will first try and figure out the cause of your symptoms. Sometimes the noise is created by age-related hearing loss or a vascular condition. Other times, it’s caused by exposure to loud noises, often in the workplace, like chainsaws, heavy equipment, or firearms. Other people are affected by music headphones turned up too loudly. Finally, the cause may be earwax build up, head or neck injury, or a medication prescribed to treat a different condition.
After determining the source, your doctor many decide to remedy the situation in one of the following ways:
This tinnitus treatment is especially practical if you’re also suffering from hearing loss. The hearing aid is a weapon in what is called the distraction approach. This works by helping your hearing system focus more the external acoustics that you want to hear and less on the racket going on inside your head.
These machines usually produce sounds that are similar to those found in the natural environment, like falling rain, waves on the shore, or a babbling brook. Some patients prefer white noise. This tinnitus treatment is especially helpful for those who are having trouble falling asleep at night.
For some sufferers, small doses of anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants help manage the symptoms of this condition. Others find that exercise or relaxation therapy works for them. There’s also a stress reduction technique that includes sound. It works by playing random sounds that resemble chimes. These tinnitus treatments work by relaxing the sufferer, which allows them to focus on something other than the distracting tones.
Finally, when seeking tinnitus treatment, you should go to a doctor you feel comfortable with. It’s important that your physician understands exactly what you’re hearing, so make sure you communicate your experience with him or her as accurately as possible. This will help your care provider determine the correct cause, and will also determine the best course of action for your exact needs. You should also be open to trying different techniques. There’s no real cure for this condition, which is why different regimens, ranging from distraction to relaxation, work for different people.