While there is no known cure for tinnitus unless the underlying cause can be identified, audiologists have developed some outstanding tinnitus treatment programs and methods in recent years to help patients with chronic tinnitus.
What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is one of our highest recommended treatment plans. TRT centers around tinnitus counseling, which aims to teach you about your condition and how retraining techniques and sound enrichment can alter the way you react to and perceive the sound of your tinnitus.
There are three major components to tinnitus retraining therapy:
- An evaluation of your daily habits and history.
- The fitting and use of broad-band noise generating devices that help cancel out or muffle tinnitus auditory frequencies.
- Therapeutic training to help you learn how to manage and ignore tinnitus symptoms.
What to Expect from TRT
If you and your audiologist determine that retraining therapy is the best option for treating your tinnitus, we’ll set up a counseling schedule for you. You can expect to visit our office regularly as you begin TRT.
The duration of TRT differs from patient to patient, but the counseling is consistently effective for our tinnitus patients and is proven to provide both short-term and long-term results.
Your audiologist will teach you what tinnitus is and how your perception of it affects the way you react to the sounds. As you progress, you’ll learn more about methods for changing how you perceive tinnitus. As your reactions to tinnitus are altered through counseling and education, you’ll become less and less aware of your symptoms.
In addition to standard counseling, behavioral therapy is frequently used to help tinnitus patients manage their emotional reactions to their symptoms. Learning emotional coping techniques and developing a range of strategies you can deploy can help to reduce the side effects of tinnitus. These side effects can include depression, insomnia and fatigue.
Retraining exercises can reduce your reaction to tinnitus, decrease your awareness of the sound and eventually eliminate any feelings of annoyance associated with tinnitus. During counseling, your audiologist will walk you through retraining exercises you can implement at home and may refer you to a counselor for additional behavioral therapy.
Avoiding silence is a crucial part of successful retraining therapy. You aren’t limited to behind-the-ear wearable devices and many choose to use various mediums, including mp3 files, smartphone apps and sound generators.
Our knowledgeable and experienced audiologists will help you select the best sounds that mask your tinnitus effectively but aren’t annoying or intrusive. Common options include:
- White noise
- Gentle music
- Nature sounds
This is important since your hearing devices will play the selected sounds 24 hours a day.
How Does Sound Enrichment Work?
Sound enrichment can help you naturally quiet or completely filter out the sounds that your tinnitus cause. Tinnitus therapy works best when the sounds used for retraining are just a little quieter than the tinnitus symptoms.
You Aren’t Alone with Your Tinnitus
You aren’t alone. We understand how isolating tinnitus can be and we can help you take the next step in your tinnitus management. A thorough evaluation is the first step so our specialists can determine if your tinnitus has a physical cause.
In some instances, tinnitus may be cured. But for most, the treatment option is based on managing the tinnitus. We will help you find the resources, additional specialists, devices and tools you need to manage your tinnitus symptoms successfully. You aren’t alone. Call us today.
Call M.K. Larson Audiology at (805) 242-4487 for more information or to schedule an appointment.