Tinnitus Treatment Options
Tinnitus treatment can help manage symptoms and return you to a more comfortable lifestyle, especially if they stem from depression or anxiety.
Tinnitus can be effectively treated through various strategies. These treatments range from counseling and medications, to nondrug approaches.
Tinnitus Treatment Bimodal therapy
Bimodal therapy employs two distinct stimuli for treating tinnitus: acoustic and somatosensory stimulation. Although still under development, this method has shown promising results in early studies and should continue being tested in future testing cycles.
One study demonstrated how an innovative noninvasive device that simultaneously provides sound to the ears and electrical stimulation to the tongue could help alleviate tinnitus symptoms in a small trial setting. Called the Michigan Tinnitus Device, an iPod-style player was used with over-ear headphones while another device placed directly onto the tongue provided Tinnitus Electrical Stimulation (TES).
Combining both therapies has long been recognized to significantly alleviate tinnitus symptoms, but either alone may not provide sufficient relief. To assess their relative effectiveness, we conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare their effects.
Both therapies provided psychoeducation on tinnitus and its impact, as well as triggers that exacerbated it, either individually or in group settings. Social-Behavioral Education (SBE), an educational approach, taught patients to identify their triggers for tinnitus and develop plans to modify exposure. SBE relies on the belief that patients’ tinnitus is reflective of internal mental states and that creating an environment conducive to health can reduce it significantly.
Therapeutic interventions were provided in a specialized, client-centric setting by a team of professionals, such as audiologists, otolaryngologists, psychologists and counselors. Tinnitus patient populations can often require more specialized and holistic solutions in treating their condition.
Studies have shown that psychotherapy tailored specifically for tinnitus is effective at short-term improving quality of life for people living with the condition. Therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction and biofeedback may all be utilized as treatments.
Science Translational Medicine recently conducted a study assessing the effect of combined auditory and somatosensory stimulation for treating tinnitus in 326 adults suffering chronic symptoms of the disorder. Each group received bimodal auditory/somatosensory stimulation; two received only bimodal auditory stimulation; while three only experienced somatosensory stimulation.
Habituation therapy is a treatment option that uses sound exposure to train your brain away from tinnitus. This technique works similarly to how anxiety attacks may require you to retrain it in order to cope better with its symptoms.
Essentially, this approach rests on the belief that people can adapt to a stimulus, such as airplane noise or subway clatter, until their ears no longer react to its presence – until eventually, their hearing no longer detects it at all.
Tinnitus treatment with relaxation techniques can be very successful; however, you must commit fully to the program in order to see results.
At times, hearing aids or sound enrichment devices (devices that produce low-level sounds) may help. Both methods may stimulate the brain and prompt it to filter out or drown out tinnitus more effectively.
Sound-Based Education (SBE), another method for treating tinnitus, may also help. Based on neurophysiological theories of habituation, SBE provides you with a basic understanding of your condition as well as ways you can reduce its effects.
Apart from medication, another form of treatment for your tinnitus could be TRT – Tinnitus Retraining Therapy focuses on habituating to sounds in your environment by teaching you to ignore irrelevant sounds that come your way – effectively making them obsolete in your mind.
Similar to having a counselor teach you how to breathe during a panic attack, breathing exercises will help you manage anxiety more easily and become easier over time. After several sessions you should feel less worried.
Effective tinnitus masking requires using devices that produce continuous sounds – such as a fan or radio. Listening to this source for several hours each day may provide relief from your symptoms.
Tinnitus masking therapy is one of the more frequently employed strategies for managing tinnitus symptoms. Though effective, this approach requires an enormous amount of perseverance and persistence for success.
As there are multiple medication treatments for tinnitus available off-label and studied specifically to treat it, several can be utilized for its management.
Medication used to manage stress and anxiety may help lessen the impact of tinnitus, particularly benzodiazepines which are commonly prescribed to reduce it for some patients. These drugs could potentially make the condition less noticeable.
Antidepressants have also proven helpful in treating tinnitus. By relieving stress and anxiety that contribute to its presence, antidepressants may provide much-needed relief, particularly among individuals suffering from depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder with significant behavioral issues related to their tinnitus.
Antidepressant medications can sometimes increase tinnitus symptoms; to ensure any prescribed drugs won’t interact negatively and worsen them further. Other medications, like lidocaine (used to treat abnormal heart rhythms), have also been shown to decrease severity in some individuals.
Vasodilators can also help treat tinnitus; these relax blood vessels and prevent them from constricting, thus decreasing its intensity. These medications should typically be given at the conclusion of a treatment plan to help alleviate symptoms associated with it.
These medications must be taken orally and should not be given to children under 18 years old, due to possible side effects like dizziness, confusion and nausea.
Tinnitus may also be effectively treated with medications like acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which have the ability to ease symptoms by reducing inflammation and soothing pain.
Treatments for tinnitus often include wearing masking devices over your ears to produce sound waves which help alleviate its symptoms. These soundwaves reduce ringing in your ears.
Noise-reduction equipment such as white noise generators or indoor waterfalls may also prove useful for alleviating symptoms associated with tinnitus, helping reduce its frustrating nature and help to minimise its intrusive presence in bedrooms or other quiet environments.
Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapy may also prove effective for managing tinnitus symptoms, specifically cognitive behavioral counseling. This form of therapy focuses on helping you understand how your thoughts and emotions that trigger tinnitus impact you as well as changing thought patterns or behaviors that contribute to it – licensed counselors at NYU Langone use discussion-based techniques to assist clients in replacing negative thought patterns with more positive ones.
Tinnitus can be an incapacitating condition, particularly for those experiencing severe cases. It may affect mood, sleep patterns and work performance negatively – in severe cases counseling and psychosocial treatments may provide assistance.
Counseling provides patients with tools for effectively managing tinnitus and improving their quality of life. Behavioral therapies help alleviate the accompanying stress, anxiety and depression resulting from this condition; additionally counseling may assist them with altering any harmful thoughts or behavior caused by it.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of counseling that employs discussion-based techniques to teach patients how their negative beliefs about tinnitus lead to distress and anxiety. Licensed counselors will identify thoughts that trigger or worsen symptoms of tinnitus and assist you in substituting more constructive, less stressful thoughts in its place.
CBT can be an extremely successful form of therapy for managing tinnitus symptoms. Patients learn strategies to control their reactions to it and build their self-esteem; many experience significant decrease in symptoms within four or six weeks of therapy.
Counseling techniques that can assist patients in controlling tinnitus-related thoughts and behaviors include guided imagery, relaxation techniques, self-hypnosis and support groups – the latter of which offer invaluable peer support necessary for dealing with the condition.
Therapists may encourage patients to explore new and engaging interests, activities or hobbies to help put tinnitus into perspective and get more involved with their community.
Patients can benefit from joining local peer support groups that address the emotional effects of tinnitus and provide an outlet for sharing treatment options and resources. Finally, some may find relief through masking devices or sound generators.
Retraining therapy is another approach to alleviating tinnitus symptoms that utilizes sound generators or masking devices to mask them away into the background, thus diminishing their impact on mind and body. These devices emit soothing sounds to redirect tinnitus signals away from being the source of distress for more enjoyable listening experience.
As part of their tinnitus retraining therapy sessions, patients will learn how to move sounds to the background consciously and subconsciously and apply this strategy at home. An audiologist will lead patients through various exercises designed specifically for this therapy session.
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