Although it’s true that there is presently no scientifically-proven method to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to discover one. In the meantime, a variety of tinnitus therapy options are available that can deliver significant relief.
Think about it in this way. When you have a headache, you take Tylenol regardless of the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers only make the pain diminish into the background so that it doesn’t affect your day. Likewise, tinnitus therapy can help lessen the degree of symptoms so that your tinnitus has minimal influence on your daily schedule.
Seeing that every person reacts to tinnitus in a different way, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll have to work with your provider to discover the option that works best for you.
Here are some of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Options
If you experience tinnitus, you’ll want to talk over the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare provider.
Treatment of the underlying problem
Although the majority of instances of tinnitus are not curable—and result from hearing loss or other non-reversible damage—some cases are caused by an underlying physical condition. You’ll want to rule these out prior to pursuing other treatment methods.
Potential physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint problems (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), too much earwax or any other obstructions in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and side effects to particular medications.
General Health And Wellness
The seriousness of tinnitus symptoms can fluctuate depending on overall health. Taking steps to boost general wellness is, consequently, something tinnitus patients can get started on right away to ease the intensity level of symptoms.
Each person is unique, and what works out for someone else may not be right for you. The purpose is to try out a range of activities to learn what works best.
Activities that have demonstrated promise include instituting a healthy diet, getting lots of physical exercise, meditating, and engaging in activities like bicycling, which can conceal the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is commonly connected to hearing loss and hearing damage. In response to decreased stimulation from outside sound, the brain undergoes maladaptive changes that trigger the perception of tinnitus.
By enhancing the magnitude of environmental sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less noticeable. Hearing aids additionally provide increased sound stimulation to the brain, which is thought to be neurologically beneficial.
Sound therapy is essentially the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to lower the perceived burden or severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy functions by masking the tinnitus and additionally by retraining the brain to reidentify the sounds of tinnitus as trivial. This combined effect can reduce the short and long-term severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be supplied through special tabletop devices, but also through portable multimedia devices and even through hearing aids. Medical-quality sound therapy incorporates custom sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for optimal outcomes.
Keep in mind that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no external sound is present. The affliction is, for that reason, very personal, and each person responds a unique way.
In fact, whether or not the person perceives tinnitus as life-altering or as no-big-deal is predominantly as a consequence of emotional tendencies and not to the volume or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been proven to be highly effective.
Several techniques are available, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which combines cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
While there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant medications are frequently used to manage the behavioral side effects to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to impact tinnitus itself, but may provide much-needed relief if thought appropriate by your physician.
The search for a tinnitus cure is continuous. A variety of experimental therapies are in development or testing and newer techniques become available every year. If your tinnitus is significant, and you’ve experienced little benefit from existing therapies, you might be a candidate for one of these innovative treatment options.
Visit the Experimental Therapies page at the American Tinnitus Association website for more details.
Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is currently being aggressively researched, with brand new discoveries and potential treatment methods reported every year. Even today, there are a variety of promising treatments that, while not offering a cure, can provide significant relief. You owe it to yourself to explore these options, stay positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work with your provider to fine-tune your treatment plan for the greatest results.