Even though it’s true that there is presently no scientifically-confirmed way to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to identify one. In the meantime, several tinnitus therapy options exist that can afford significant relief.
Think about 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 merely make the pain disappear into the background so that it doesn’t affect your day. Similarly, tinnitus therapy can help lower the severity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has minimal affect on your daily schedule.
Considering everyone reacts to tinnitus in a different way, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll have to work together with your provider to uncover the option that works best for you.
Here are many of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Methods
If you experience tinnitus, you’ll want to investigate 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 injury—certain cases are brought on by an underlying physical ailment. You’ll want to rule these out before pursuing other treatment modalities.
Potential physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint issues (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), too much earwax or any other obstructions in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and side effects to select medications.
The intensity of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on all-around health. Taking actions to enrich general fitness is, consequently, something tinnitus patients can get started on immediately to alleviate the intensity level of symptoms.
Every individual is unique, and what gets results for someone else might not work for you. The purpose is to experiment with a range of activities to learn what works best.
Strategies that have demonstrated promise include instituting a healthy diet, achieving adequate physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like bicycling, which can mask the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is often linked to hearing loss and hearing injury. In reaction to decreased stimulation from external sound, the brain undergoes maladaptive changes that generate the perception of tinnitus.
By strengthening the magnitude of external sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less perceptible. Hearing aids also supply enhanced sound stimulation to the brain, which is presumed to be neurologically favorable.
Sound therapy is basically the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to minimize the perceived burden or intensity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy works by masking the tinnitus and additionally by training the brain to reidentify the sounds of tinnitus as inconsequential. This dual effect can lessen the short and long-term severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be delivered through special tabletop devices, but also through portable media products and even through hearing aids. Medical-grade sound therapy uses customized sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for the most effective results.
Bear in mind that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no outside sound is present. The affliction is, for that reason, highly subjective, and each person reacts differently.
In fact, whether or not the individual perceives tinnitus as debilitating or minor is predominantly due to emotional tendencies and not to the loudness or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been shown to be very effective.
Several techniques exist, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which brings together cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
Although there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant prescriptions are commonly utilized to treat the behavioral reactions to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to impact tinnitus itself, but may furnish much-needed relief if thought necessary by your doctor.
The search for a tinnitus cure is on-going. A variety of experimental therapies are in development or testing and newer approaches become available every year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve achieved very little benefit from existing therapies, you might be a candidate for one of these innovative treatment options.
Check out the Experimental Therapies page at the American Tinnitus Association website for additional details.
Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is being aggressively researched, with new findings and prospective treatment options reported every year. Even now, you can find several promising treatments that, while not supplying a cure, can supply appreciable relief. You owe it to yourself to investigate these options, stay positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work with your provider to modify your treatment plan for the greatest results.