Though it’s true that there is currently no scientifically-verified method to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to uncover one. In the meantime, a range of tinnitus therapy options are available that can grant considerable relief.
Think of it this way. If you have a headache, you take Tylenol despite the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers simply make the pain disappear into the background to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with your day. Likewise, tinnitus therapies can help decrease the severity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has minimum affect on your daily schedule.
Considering every person responds to tinnitus in a different way, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll have to work together with your provider to find the option that works the best for you.
Here are some of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Options
If you suffer from tinnitus, you’ll want to talk over the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare provider.
Treatment of the underlying condition
Whereas most instances of tinnitus are not curable—and are derived from hearing loss or other non-reversible injury—certain cases are triggered by an underlying physical ailment. You’ll want to rule these out prior to pursuing other treatment options.
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 some medications.
The seriousness of tinnitus symptoms can fluctuate depending on overall health. Taking steps to strengthen general wellness is, therefore, one thing tinnitus patients can get started on right away to decrease the intensity of symptoms.
Every person is unique, and what gets results for someone else may not be right for you. The purpose is to experiment with a range of activities to discover what works best.
Strategies that have shown 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 response to reduced stimulation from external sound, the brain undergoes maladaptive changes that bring about the perception of tinnitus.
By increasing the amount of environmental sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less conspicuous. Hearing aids in addition supply increased sound stimulation to the brain, which is thought to be neurologically beneficial.
Sound therapy is simply the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to lower the perceived burden or intensity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy operates by masking the tinnitus and also by teaching the brain to recategorize the sounds of tinnitus as trivial. This combined effect can lessen the short and long-term degree of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be provided through special tabletop gadgets, but also through portable multimedia products and even through hearing aids. Medical-quality sound therapy employs tailored sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for the most effective results.
Bear in mind that tinnitus is the perception of sound in the brain when no outside sound is present. The ailment is, for that reason, highly subjective, and each person responds differently.
In fact, whether or not the person perceives tinnitus as life-altering or as no-big-deal is largely due to psychological tendencies and not to the intensity 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 blends cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
While there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant prescriptions are commonly used to treat the behavioral reactions to tinnitus. These medications do not appear to influence tinnitus itself, but may supply much-needed relief if thought necessary by your doctor.
The search for a tinnitus cure is ongoing. A number of experimental therapies are in development or testing and new approaches become available every year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve realized little benefit from existing therapies, you could be a candidate for one of these cutting edge treatment options.
Visit the Experimental Therapies webpage at the American Tinnitus Association website for more information.
Find Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is currently being aggressively studied, with new discoveries and potential treatment options reported every year. Even today, you can find several encouraging treatments that, while not providing a cure, can supply considerable relief. You owe it to yourself to investigate these options, remain positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work with your provider to fine-tune your treatment plan for the greatest results.