Call or Text Us! 847-453-3643
Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Tinnitus is sadly a widespread problem, affecting an estimated 50 million Americans over 50. Those who suffer from tinnitus hear constant sounds that no one around them hears. These sounds range from high-pitched ringing sounds, buzzing or roaring, or rapid clicking sounds similar to crickets chirping. In some cases, the tinnitus is a small nuisance, while in severe cases it is terribly debilitating. Steady tinnitus often leads to other problems such as anxiety, sleeping disorders, depression, and fatigue.

Although there are technological treatments for tinnitus, such as hearing aids that mask and suppress the buzzing or ringing sounds, there is also a form of counseling known as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy. Using a combination of mechanisms, TRT “retrains” tinnitus sufferers and gives them the ability to reduce their perceptions of the noises they hear, so they no longer react to the sounds negatively, and thus eventually cease being bothered by them.

Created by Austrian neuroscientist Pawel Jastreboff in the 1980s, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is a radically different approach to tinnitus treatment. It challenges the assumption among most audiologists that tinnitus is the result of physical ear damage which cannot be reversed. Jastreboff has proposed an alternate model for tinnitus based on his background in behavioral neuroscience. Firmly believing that the condition could be fixed, he focused his efforts on developing behavior modification techniques.

The basic assumption of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is that the tinnitus is not a disease per se, but a reflection of hyperacusis – a person’s innate ability to hear normal sounds generated by the auditory system that others cannot hear. In his theory, it is not the buzzing sounds themselves that are a problem, and the distress they cause some people is due to an over reaction to the sounds. During TRT counseling sessions – performed only by those who have been trained in the technique – a precise and individual combination of teaching and sound therapy are used to enable tinnitus sufferers to use their own cognitive functions to shut down their over reactions to the disturbing sounds, and focus more on the desirable sounds they want to hear.

TRT counselors have had remarkable success over the years in enabling patients to overcome their conditioned negative responses to tinnitus, thus enabling them to eliminate the distress that they feel.

Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today