Many of us have experienced the annoyance and irritation that come with tinnitus. Most of us have, at some point, experienced that persistent and distracting ringing that never seems to go away, no matter what we do. To make matters worse, tinnitus is usually accompanied by a loss of hearing in one or both ears and can be a real impediment to work, relaxation and conversation.

Fortunately, for many of us, this is a fleeting (though irritating) problem. In the majority of cases, it tends to fade away within 24 hours. But in some cases, tinnitus can be much more persistent and torment sufferers for days, weeks, or even months or years. The good news is that tinnitus can be treated. It’s merely a matter of:

Identifying the cause

Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying problem rather than a problem of its own. There are many causes of tinnitus including:

  • Head or neck injury
  • High blood pressure
  • Genetic conditions like Meniere’s disease
  • Exposure to loud noises
  • Build up of earwax
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Benign tumors on the cranial nerve

Your audiologist can help you to identify the root cause of your tinnitus, and from there, recommend an appropriate solution.  Let’s take a look at some common treatments for tinnitus;

Hearing protection

Prevention is often the best cure. Many who experience tinnitus frequently are people who regularly find themselves in noisy environments without proper ear protection. Finding an appropriate form of ear protection to fit their needs can help keep tinnitus at bay.

Hearing aids

A hearing aid is another standard and effective treatment for tinnitus. Whether we’re aware of it or not, tinnitus usually comes with a loss of hearing, and over time this hearing loss can become permanent. When hearing is restored by a hearing aid, tinnitus will often subside. In some cases, an audiologist may prescribe a hearing aid with a built-in tinnitus masker; a sound generating device that can counteract the effects of tinnitus

Dietary / lifestyle changes

If your tinnitus is a result of high blood pressure or an imbalance of the fluids in your inner ear (Meniere’s disease) your audiologist may also recommend certain dietary or lifestyle changes alongside the implementation of a hearing aid.

They may suggest that you reduce your intake of alcohol, salt and caffeine to regulate your blood pressure.

Cleaning the ear canal

If a buildup of wax causes the tinnitus, your audiologist is the best person to clean out your ear canal and ease the pressure on your inner ear caused by waxy buildup. It is not recommended that you attempt to clean out your ears with water or q-tips as this can do far more damage than good. Leave this delicate procedure to a professional.

Whatever the root cause of your tinnitus, trust your audiologist to prescribe the best treatment for you.