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A Comprehensive Guide to Tinnitus Treatment

An audiologist is helping his patient to understand tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a common issue that everyone will experience at least once in their life. This includes hearing a ring or any other sort of sound that isn’t coming from an external source. Several common treatments are used depending on the severity. This is a comprehensive guide on the variety of methods used to treat tinnitus.

What Can Cause Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can arise from many underlying conditions. There is often a reason why tinnitus occurs and it’s not a symptom that the human body will just randomly have. One of the most common occurrences would be prolonged exposure to loud noise. This can be temporary but it does have the potential to be more permanent. Other changes in the body could cause tinnitus such as a head injury, ear infection, Meniere’s disease or even benign tumors on the auditory nerve.

Is Tinnitus Permanent?

Experiences vary on how someone developed tinnitus, some people experience tinnitus for a short period while others will experience it for the rest of their lives. Treatments will depend on the severity of your tinnitus, but many also live normal lives ignoring the tinnitus.  

What Are the Treatments for Tinnitus?

If your audiologist cannot identify the cause of tinnitus, it can be more difficult to cure the tinnitus symptoms. Your audiologist will decide which treatment is the most appropriate by first establishing whether or not there is a reversible cause. This can differ depending on the diagnosis of tinnitus. At times there are procedures and therapy done to treat the tinnitus while other patients may be told to change their lifestyle habits.

Earwax Removal

This form of treatment is one of the most common occurrences for tinnitus. The audiologist can quickly do this procedure in a matter of minutes to help treat the tinnitus. This includes using a micro-suction tool to clean out the patient’s ears of excess earwax.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

This form of therapy is known to be a very effective form of treatment that will require regular visits for one to two years. This technique is mainly used for anyone who is diagnosed with abnormal neuronal activity. A device similar to a hearing aid is placed into the ear where it will generate different volumes and pitches for you to listen to. This form of therapy will at times require a counseling session as well.

Masking Hearing Aids

Hearing aids with masking features can help you in making tinnitus less noticeable. This device looks a lot like a hearing aid but it has a masking feature on it. It will produce low-level white noise to reduce the perception of tinnitus. Most will see an audiologist for tinnitus will have a trial at this form of treatment.

Lifestyle changes

Your audiologist may suggest lifestyle changes such as stopping alcohol consumption and smoking habits. These are both known for being factors increasing tinnitus and causing age-related hearing loss earlier in life.

How Can Tinnitus Be Avoided?

Many tinnitus cases are caused by loud noise, so it’s best to take precautions when possible. Listening to music or shows should be at a sensible volume. When visiting loud environments such as concerts, constriction sites or firework shows, try to wear earplugs as the sounds are often too loud for everyone’s safety. Be sure to get annual check-ups from your audiologist to help prevent future hearing-loss problems.