Scientists are still learning more about tinnitus, and as yet, there is no quick fix “cure” for the condition. Treatment depends on the type of tinnitus, its causes and what a patient personally responds to. Last time, we discussed the types and causes of tinnitus. Tinnitus caused by an underlying health condition can often be treated fairly quickly. For long-term cases where no cause can be identified, treatments focus on healthy management of symptoms.
In this last part of our three-part series on tinnitus, we explore the treatments available for tinnitus.
If tinnitus is caused by an underlying health problem, the symptoms usually clear up once the problem is treated. For example, tinnitus caused by a build-up of earwax can be resolved or lessened by a course of eardrops or ear irrigation.
Learning to live with long-term tinnitus can feel daunting, but many people find that their symptoms improve or even fade away over time. Tinnitus treatments focus on helping you cope with and minimize symptoms on a daily basis. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s about finding what works best for you.
If you have untreated hearing loss, straining to hear can make tinnitus worse. Correcting a hearing loss means that your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to identify sounds and can ignore tinnitus more easily. Wearing a hearing aid will help you hear a wider range of sounds, which in itself can help to mask the sounds of tinnitus. Many hearing aids offer in-built tinnitus management programs, sound generators (see below) and downloadable smart apps to help manage symptoms.
Sound therapy Tinnitus is more noticeable in quiet environments. Sound therapy focuses on filling silence with neutral background noise, which helps to mask symptoms and make them less irritating.
Many people with tinnitus use a variety of everyday tactics to cope with the condition positively. Stress and tiredness can make tinnitus symptoms worse, so maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle can help alleviate symptoms.
Counselling and therapy Living with tinnitus can be emotionally stressful and it can help to talk. Many people find that regularly discussing their experiences can help them to manage their condition more effectively.
Counselling is usually carried out by a hearing therapist, audiologist or doctor. It aims to help people productively change their approach to their condition.
Tinnitus is a complex condition, but it can be managed and treated effectively. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms and would like to discuss your treatment options, our audiologists are happy to help. Contact us via our website or give us a call on 0131 220 1220.