How is tinnitus treated?
Treatment will depend on what is causing your tinnitus. For example, if a drug you are taking causes your tinnitus, your doctor may recommend you stop taking that drug. Remember you should never stop taking a prescription drug without talking to your doctor first.
If an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure, causes your tinnitus, your doctor can create a treatment plan for you to follow. Usually, tinnitus goes away once the condition that is causing it is treated.
When no specific cause can be identified, your doctor will probably focus on making your tinnitus easier to tolerate. Some possible methods include the following:
- Hearing aids: For people who have tinnitus and hearing loss, using a hearing aid may be helpful. When you wear a hearing aid, things you need to hear will be louder than the ringing, buzzing or clicking sound.
- Maskers: Maskers are placed behind your ear and create white noise (constant background noise). This makes tinnitus less noticeable. Some people also use bedside maskers to help them sleep.
- Combined hearing aids and maskers
- Counseling: Many people who have tinnitus become depressed. If you have tinnitus and are struggling, seeking help through a counselor and/or a support group may help you cope.
- Tinnitus restraining therapy: This method uses a mix of counseling with maskers or other approaches. An otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat doctor) and an audiologist (a hearing professional) will work with you to help you deal with your tinnitus. This isn’t a quick fix, but many people find it useful with time and practice.
- Relaxing: Stress can make tinnitus worse. Your doctor can suggest relaxation techniques that might help you deal with your stress.
- Medicines: Currently, there are no medicines specifically designed for treating tinnitus. Some medicines, such as certain drugs used to treat anxiety, have been shown to relieve tinnitus for some people. Talk to your doctor about whether medicine might relieve your symptoms.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff