Tinnitus is a medical condition where a person hears a sound within the ear even when there is no external sound being produced. It can be caused by ear infections, wax build up or compact, hearing extremely loud sounds for even short durations, the presence of foreign objects in the ear or neurological damage. Extended use of in-ear headphones can also cause Tinnitus.
Once the physician identifies the underlying cause of the problem, they would prescribe a treatment method for the individual case.
If the condition is caused by wax buildup or impaction, the physician would proceed to remove the earwax to reduce or completely eliminate the symptoms. Or if a foreign object within the ear is the cause of the symptoms, the physician would remove the object to treat the condition. In some cases, an underlining blood vessel in the ear may be causing the symptoms. This may require surgery or medication to treat the problem.
Although Tinnitus can not be cured through medication, the symptoms of the condition can often be reduced using different kinds of medicines. Antidepressants like nortriptyline and amitriptyline have been shown to reduce symptoms in persons with this condition. Since these drugs have unpleasant side effects like blurred vision, dryness in the mouth, constipation, and can even trigger heart problems, they are used only in persons with severe Tinnitus symptoms.
Campral or acamprosate which is a medication used for treating alcoholism seemed to treat 87% of the symptoms in sufferers, according to a study made in Brazil in 2005. The drug is currently under study in the US for the treatment of Tinnitus. Alprazolam is also known to reduce symptoms, although it has some side effects like nausea and drowsiness. People can also become addicted to the drug.
In some people with other health conditions, the medication that they take for treatment can sometimes cause Tinnitus. The physician may advise them to stop or reduce the drug, or prescribe a new drug which does not give rise to these symptoms.
One of the effective treatments of the symptoms of this condition is to use “white noise” to suppress the constant sound heard in the inner ear. There are electronic white noise machines that can produce mild and pleasant sounds of ocean waves or falling rain to help suppress the other sound heard in the ear.
These are some of the different kinds of tinnitus treatment methods available today. Counseling may also be needed for certain people who suffer from this condition.