Treatment of tinnitus depends very much on the cause. Because tinnitus is usually a symptom rather than an illness, treating the initial cause should help get rid of, or at least lessen, the sounds. Treatment could be one of the following:
- antibiotics for infections
- removing obstructions or wax from the ear canal
- changing medications or dosages
- treating certain neurological illnesses
- surgery to correct joint problems
- counselling for stress or depression
- dental work
Currently, there are no medications in North America to treat spontaneous tinnitus of unknown cause. For the most part, tinnitus usually goes away by itself without treatment. It is permanent in about 25% of all cases.
When the cause of tinnitus can't be found, or if the cause is something that can't be fixed, there are some things that can be done to try to live with it. Whether or not this is necessary will depend on how loud and persistent the sound is, how annoying it is to the person, and if it's disturbing their daily life.
Some people with severe tinnitus use a technique called masking, in which a device is worn, much like a hearing aid, which provides a soothing or pleasing sound. This hides the annoying ringing or humming. The sounds can be different for each person. For example, some people may prefer to listen to the outdoors – bird calls, falling rain, or waterfalls. In some cases, masking can "train" the brain not to hear the annoying noises and, after a while, the device might not be needed all the time.
Other people don't need constant masking but use this technique when they're trying to fall asleep, concentrate, or rest. For this, they might use radios, tape recorders, CD players, or even household appliances like fans or air conditioners (this type of background masking is called "white noise").
Sometimes tinnitus is caused by hearing loss. A hearing test can determine if this is the case and whether a hearing aid might help. Often the aid will sharpen what's supposed to be heard and end up drowning out or hiding the unwanted sounds.
If you suffer from tinnitus, it's important to stay out of situations that can make it worse. This means avoiding noisy places and keeping music at a reasonable level. Also, being aware of medications that are toxic to living cells or to the ear (these are called “cytotoxic” or “ototoxic” medications) may help reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Some doctors recommend staying away from caffeine and smoke, as these can irritate tinnitus.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Tinnitus