How do you treat tinnitus?
We offer a variety of options for a person with bothersome tinnitus, focusing on results-based treatments based on comprehensive academic studies. There are two main therapies we use: Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment.
If your tinnitus is particularly troublesome, you will be introduced to a structured method of managing your tinnitus with our team of experts.
What are my treatment options?
Our providers at the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic have been trained by Dr. Pawel Jastreboff in Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and follow the principals, protocols and treatment guidelines.
This method uses a combination of low level, broadband noise and counseling to achieve the habituation of tinnitus (ringing or sound in the ears). This treatment allows the patient to no longer be aware of their tinnitus, except when they focus their attention on it, and even then, tinnitus is not annoying or bothersome.
The brain and nervous system can learn to ignore sounds and other types of sensations when there is no negative emotional attachment. For example, people typically don’t actively listen to air conditioners or other continuous background sounds. These sounds are simply a part of the environment and are easily ignored. Successful habituation to tinnitus is achieved when tinnitus no longer bothers you.
Proven to work
The therapy received worldwide recognition since its origination by Dr. Pawel Jastreboff in 1990. A study in 2004 demonstrated that TRT is more effective long-term than sound masking. The research showed an 80% success-rate in reducing annoyance of tinnitus through TRT treatment.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy can also restore the normal level of sensitivity to sound. A sensitivity to sound is called hyperacusis. Some patients experience hyperacusis without tinnitus, while some patients experience them both together.
During the evaluation process your Doctor of Audiology evaluates your case history, reviews and/or conducts audiological testing and evaluates other factors, which position you into one of five categories within the TRT protocol. It is from that point that specific treatment recommendations are made.
Why don’t I just buy a sound machine to mask my tinnitus?
To combat their tinnitus, a lot of people buy a sound machine or app and use it to ‘mask’ or cover up their tinnitus symptoms. Although they provide relief in the short term, specialized professionals know that masking is not an effective long-term treatment of tinnitus for several reasons.
If you consistently cover up your tinnitus, your brain will never be able to perceive it, which creates a dependency for the masking sound. The treatments we choose to work with, such as TRT, involve both directive counseling and sound enrichment therapy to habituate the tinnitus so that it is a “non-issue” in person’s life.