What are the Best Treatment Options for Tinnitus?

a woman experiencing slight ear discomfort

Tinnitus is a common hearing condition that is characterized by a ringing in one or both ears. It affects people in different ways and can be a temporary or chronic condition that has a number of potential causes, including: 

  • Aging 
  • Sinus infection
  • Ear infection
  • Excessive earwax
  • Medications 
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Injury to the head or neck
  • Certain medical conditions

While temporary tinnitus is usually relieved once the underlying condition is resolved, chronic tinnitus can be managed by working with your audiologist and making some lifestyle changes in order to make it easier to live with. Treatment options exist to alleviate your symptoms.

A Hearing Aid with Features

Hearing loss is also a common condition and is sometimes experienced alongside tinnitus by many people. This is why hearing aids have been developed with tinnitus masking features in them. This works by boosting the external sounds so that it masks to sensation and sound of the tinnitus. You usually won’t be able to hear the ringing unless you really concentrate. 

A Review of Your Medications 

Certain medications can affect hearing and cause tinnitus. You can work with your health care provider to assess whether your medications can be altered or substituted for an alternative. Do not stop taking medications without first talking to your doctor. 

Earwax Removal

Everyone has earwax to a greater or lesser extent. It is vital in keeping your ears healthy. However, if there is a build-up of wax, this can cause hearing loss and put pressure on the eardrum, causing tinnitus. 

The good news is if your tinnitus is caused by too much earwax, then it should disappear very quickly once the wax has been removed by your audiologist. 

Follow a Healthy Lifestyle

High blood pressure can cause the noise associated with tinnitus to be much more evident. Therefore, it makes sense to follow a lifestyle that reduces your blood pressure. This includes stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy weight. 

Using a Sound Machine

Much like the masking function of a hearing aid, a sound machine can play ambient noise which takes your focus away from your tinnitus and allow you to relax. These devices come in all sizes and you can even buy a portable one to take with your while you’re traveling. There have even been some white noise sleep masks and pillows developed to help people to sleep but are also becoming popular with those who have tinnitus. 

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

This system is relatively new and is designed to help your life with tinnitus on a subconscious level. It works to help you learn to ignore the sounds associated with tinnitus. The overall aim is to create a situation where tinnitus is habituation rather than a distraction. For example, it is likened to noticing the sound of raindrops on a window when it first begins to rain, but then after the initial sounds are heard, you take no notice of the rain. 

Your audiologist will be able to assess whether you’re a good candidate for TRT.