Is there an actual medical condition that could possibly be causing the tinnitus? Could there be an ear problem or something else? Is the ringing in your ears a side effect of some medicines that you take? The starting point, if you have ringing in your ears, is your doctor.
Finding the Cause of Your Tinnitus
To find out what actual medical condition could possibly be causing tinnitus, your physician provides you with a broad real assessment. This will include a careful examination of your ears. Make sure you inform your doctor of all medicines you’re using. Tinnitus could be a side effect of some drugs.
Head, hearing and dental investigation
When the cause of the issue remains unclear, you might be recommended to see one or more specialists in the field. The referral may be to an otologist or an otolaryngologist (both head specialists) or an audiologist (a hearing consultant) for hearing and nerve checks. Included in your assessment, you may be given an interactive test called an audiogram. An imaging technique, such as an MRI or a CT scan, is often advised to expose any structural problem. An orthodontist or dental expert may be recommended if jaw movements are implicated in your tinnitus.
The next area of investigation is your environment. That is your home, hobbies and work. These areas of inquiry are important, but exploring medical causes comes first. Overlooking a serious medical condition may result in permanent hearing loss or at worst an undiagnosed life-threatening medical condition.
Common Treatments for Tinnitus can include
Make sure that your tinnitus is not a symptom of another medical condition. If it is, your first step is to address that condition. When there is no underlying medical condition, sometimes the tinnitus disappears automatically, with no specific treatment. It should be recognized, however, that not all tinnitus can be reduced or eliminated, no matter the trigger. But don’t give up, common treatments do assist many, many people.
Earwax, Infection, and Growths
Some people experience tinnitus as a result of excessive earwax. Your ears can be cleared by an expert with a tiny instrument called a curette, or by flushing it out with hot water. DO NOT try to do this yourself. If an ear infection is identified, you might be prescribed ear drops containing hydrocortisone to treat a persistent infection. Surgery might be essential in rare instances of a tumor, cyst, or otosclerosis (a calcium deposit on the head bone).
Temporo-mandibular joint disorder
In case your tinnitus is the result of joint syndrome — often called TMJ — your physician will likely refer you to an orthodontist or other dental expert for specialized treatment. We have included a link, for your interest, to an extensive, a quite technical article on TMJ by Dr. Malcolm Grenness in Australia.
Testing by an Audiologist will clarify if your tinnitus is due to exposure to prolonged or persistent loud sound. There are various recommendations for workplace and lifestyle changes that can be very successful or at the very least reduce the risks of further ear and hearing damage.
If tinnitus remains after treatment, health professionals regularly advocate different non-medical choices that might help decrease or hide the unwanted noise. You may find Alternative Therapies useful.
In case you are having difficulty handling your tinnitus, you might find counseling valuable. Consult your doctor for a referral to a reputable person who understands the special challenges that Tinnitus brings.