Patients who suffer from tinnitus experience ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling and similar sounds in their ears. The noise they hear may be intermittent or constant in nature and can also vary in terms of how loud it is.
Tinnitus is generally worse when background noise is lower, like at night or in a quiet environment. It is a common occurrence and affects more than 50 million, or 1 in 6, adults in the United States.
Treatment of Tinnitus
It is important to seek medical attention for relief from Tinnitus. Doctors typically address any underlying conditions the patient may be experiencing. For example, a patient could be experiencing tinnitus from an ear and sinus infection, or from exposure to loud noises. Below are several examples of possible treatments.
Several pharmaceutical drugs can be used to treat tinnitus. For instance, some patients have reported feeling better after taking low doses of anti-anxiety drugs like Valium, or antidepressants such as Elavil. Alternatively, patients may also be administered a steroid placed in the middle of the ear in combination with medication like Alprazolam.
Medicines meant for other diseases can also be used for tinnitus. Lidocaine, which is used by patients with irregular heart rhythms, has been shown to relieve the early onset of tinnitus. Risks may occur while using certain medication, which is why visiting a doctor is recommended.
There are various cases of tinnitus where patients also develop hearing loss. If this is the case, doctors may recommend the use of hearing aids.
Maskers are another treatment option. These devices are similar in nature to hearing aids, and they emit a pleasant sound dissipating the internal noise from tinnitus.
Thanks to advanced technology, tinnitus instruments are the latest devices being used. It successfully combines a hearing aid and masker to help alleviate the patients experience.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a treatment modality dependent on the brain’s natural inclination to filter out a signal on a subconscious level so it does not reach conscious perception.
TRT is divided into two parts. First, a person who suffers from tinnitus will wear a sound generator in their ear which plays some form of neutral sound wherever they go. Secondly, they may receive counseling on an individual basis to effectively treat their tinnitus. TRT can take anywhere between twelve to twenty four months to ameliorate the patient’s condition.