Tinnitus Treatment Options

Tinnitus comes from the Latin word for “ringing”. As a medical term, it refers to a chronic ringing in the ears. Tinnitus is a symptom rather than a specific condition, so there are a variety of treatment options available depending on the underlying cause of your tinnitus.

Purpose of Treatment

Since there is currently no definitive cure for tinnitus, treatment is aimed at ameliorating the symptom so that sufferers can live a normal life that isn’t hindered by their tinnitus. For many who experience tinnitus, the ringing sensation can be a constant interruption to daily activities and can significantly impact quality of life.Tinnitus treatment options, therefore, aim to address the cognitive and emotional effects of tinnitus to ameliorate the difficulties of living with it. Before finding the best treatment plan for you, your audiologist will start by completing a medical examination and review of your medical history in order to best diagnose the root cause of your tinnitus.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (or TRT) is a form of behavioral therapy with the end goal of helping the patient to better cope with their tinnitus. In essence, TRT involves training patients to perceive the ringing differently.

On analogy to TRT is living near a railroad track. At first, the noise of passing trains may be a distraction and an annoyance. After time passes, though, you may get used to the trains and not notice them anymore. This is what TRT does. It doesn’t make the ringing go away, but it helps patients find ways to make it a normal part of everyday life.

Hearing Aids

When tinnitus is rooted in hearing loss, the symptoms may be relieved by improving the patient’s ability to hear. In this case, hearing aids that make it easier to hear external noises can alleviate the internal noise caused by tinnitus.

Medication

While no medications are approved to treat tinnitus specifically, it is often caused by psychological conditions such as stress, depression, or anxiety. Therefore, medication may be a tangential piece of your tinnitus treatment plan.

Lifestyle Changes

Adding exercise and more positive social activity may make living with tinnitus easier. Along with a healthy diet, lifestyle changes like these can often help to address psychological causes of tinnitus.