While it’s true that there is currently no scientifically-established way to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to uncover one. In the meantime, a variety of tinnitus therapy options are available that can supply significant relief.
Think of it in this way. When you have a headache, you take Tylenol in spite of the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers only make the pain fade into the background to ensure that it doesn’t impact your day. In the same way, tinnitus therapies can help reduce the intensity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has marginal affect on your daily routine.
Since everyone reacts to tinnitus differently, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll have to work with your provider to uncover the approach that works best for you.
Here are many of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Methods
If you experience tinnitus, you’ll want to talk over the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare professional.
Treatment of the underlying ailment
Although the majority of instances of tinnitus are not curable—and are derived from hearing loss or other non-reversible damage—some cases are triggered by an underlying physical condition. You’ll want to rule these out prior to seeking other treatment methods.
Possible physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint problems (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), excessive earwax or other obstructions in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and responses to some medications.
The seriousness of tinnitus symptoms can fluctuate depending on overall health. Taking steps to improve general health is, consequently, something tinnitus sufferers can get started on immediately to reduce the intensity of symptoms.
Every patient is different, and what gets results for someone else might not be right for you. The purpose is to experiment with a variety of activities to find out what is most effective.
Activities that have revealed promise include instituting a healthy diet, achieving lots of physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like cycling, which can mask the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is frequently linked to hearing loss and hearing damage. In reaction to diminished stimulation from outside sound, the brain undergoes maladaptive changes that generate the perception of tinnitus.
By strengthening the amount of external sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less noticeable. Hearing aids also supply increased sound stimulation to the brain, which is presumed to be neurologically favorable.
Sound therapy is simply the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to reduce the perceived burden or severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy operates by covering up the tinnitus and also by teaching the brain to recategorize the sounds of tinnitus as unimportant. This double effect can limit the short and long-term intensity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be delivered through special tabletop devices, but also through portable multimedia products and even through hearing aids. Medical-grade sound therapy uses custom sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for optimal outcomes.
Bear in mind that tinnitus is the perception of sound in the brain when no exterior sound is present. The condition is, for that reason, very subjective, and each person reacts a unique way.
In fact, whether or not the person perceives tinnitus as life-altering or as no-big-deal is largely due to emotional tendencies and not to the intensity or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been demonstrated to be highly effective.
A number of techniques are available, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which unites cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
While there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant medications are frequently utilized to treat the behavioral reactions to tinnitus. These medications do not appear to affect tinnitus itself, but may supply much-needed relief if thought appropriate by your doctor.
The search for a tinnitus cure is ongoing. Many experimental therapies are in development or testing and new approaches become available each year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve attained very little benefit from existing therapies, you might be a candidate for one of these leading edge treatment options.
Check out the Experimental Therapies webpage at the American Tinnitus Association website for additional details.
Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is currently being aggressively studied, with brand new findings and potential treatment options reported every year. Even now, you can find a variety of encouraging treatments that, while not supplying a cure, can provide appreciable relief. You owe it to yourself to inquire about these options, remain positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work with your provider to modify your treatment plan for the greatest results.