Although it’s true that there is presently no scientifically-established way to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to identify one. In the meantime, a range of tinnitus therapy options exist that can provide considerable relief.
Look at it this way. If you have a headache, you take Tylenol in spite of 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 affect your day. In the same way, tinnitus therapies can help decrease the intensity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has minimal affect on your daily schedule.
Considering that everyone reacts to tinnitus differently, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll have to work with your provider to find the approach that is best suited for you.
Here are many of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Methods
If you experience tinnitus, you’ll want to review the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare provider.
Treatment of the underlying condition
Although the majority of instances of tinnitus are not curable—and are a consequence of hearing loss or other non-reversible injury—some cases are caused by an underlying physical condition. You’ll want to rule these out prior to seeking other treatment options.
Possible physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint problems (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), excessive earwax or other obstructions in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and reactions to certain medications.
General Health And Fitness
The seriousness of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on all-around health. Taking actions to boost general fitness is, therefore, something tinnitus patients can get started on right away to ease the intensity level of symptoms.
Every individual is different, and what works well for someone else might not work for you. The idea is to try out a variety of activities to discover what works best.
Activities that have shown promise include instituting a healthy diet, achieving lots of physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like bicycling, which can conceal the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is commonly connected to hearing loss and hearing injury. In reaction to reduced stimulation from external sound, the brain goes through maladaptive changes that bring on 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 additionally provide 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 lower the perceived burden or severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy operates by covering up the tinnitus and also by retraining the brain to recategorize the sounds of tinnitus as inconsequential. This twofold effect can lower the short and long-term intensity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be delivered through special tabletop gadgets, but also through portable media devices and even through hearing aids. Medical-grade sound therapy incorporates tailored sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for the most effective outcomes.
Remember that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no external sound is present. The ailment is, therefore, very personal, and each person reacts differently.
In fact, whether or not the individual perceives tinnitus as life-altering or as no-big-deal is predominantly as a consequence of emotional tendencies and not to the intensity or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been proven to be exceptionally effective.
Several techniques exist, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which integrates cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
Even though there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant prescriptions are frequently used to treat the behavioral reactions to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to affect tinnitus itself, but may provide much-needed relief if thought to be appropriate by your physician.
The search for a tinnitus cure is on-going. Several experimental therapies are in development or evaluation and newer methods become available each year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve realized very little benefit from existing therapies, you may be a candidate for one of these advanced treatment options.
Visit the Experimental Therapies web page at the American Tinnitus Association website for additional details.
Find Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is being aggressively researched, with new findings and prospective treatment methods introduced every year. Even now, you can find a variety of encouraging treatments that, while not offering a cure, can provide considerable relief. You owe it to yourself to look into 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.