Though it’s true that there is currently no scientifically-confirmed method to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to identify one. In the meantime, various tinnitus therapy options exist that can supply substantial relief.
Think of it this way. If you have a headache, you take Tylenol regardless of the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers merely make the pain disappear into the background so that it doesn’t affect your day. Similarly, tinnitus therapies can help lessen the severity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has little impact on your daily life.
Seeing as every person reacts to tinnitus differently, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll have to work with your provider to uncover the approach that works best for you.
Here are some of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Methods
If you suffer from tinnitus, you’ll want to review the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare provider.
Treatment of the underlying problem
Whereas the majority of instances of tinnitus are not curable—and are the result of hearing loss or other non-reversible damage—some cases are the result of 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), excessive earwax or any other obstructions in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and reactions to particular medications.
General Health And Wellness
The severity of tinnitus symptoms can fluctuate depending on all-around health. Taking actions to strengthen general health is, consequently, something tinnitus patients can get started on immediately to decrease the level of intensity of symptoms.
Each person is different, and what works for someone else might not work for you. The purpose is to experiment with a range of activities to learn what is most effective.
Activities that have demonstrated promise include instituting a healthy diet, getting lots of physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like cycling, which can cover up the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is often connected to hearing loss and hearing damage. In response to diminished stimulation from outside sound, the brain undergoes maladaptive changes that give rise to the perception of tinnitus.
By enhancing the magnitude of environmental sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less recognizable. Hearing aids additionally supply increased sound stimulation to the brain, which is presumed to be neurologically favorable.
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 covering up the tinnitus and also by retraining the brain to recategorize the sounds of tinnitus as inconsequential. This combined effect can lessen the short and long-term severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be delivered through special tabletop devices, but also through portable multimedia products and even through hearing aids. Medical-grade sound therapy incorporates customized sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for the best results.
Keep in mind that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no outside sound is present. The affliction is, therefore, very subjective, and each person responds a unique way.
In fact, whether or not the person perceives tinnitus as debilitating or minor is largely as a consequence of psychological tendencies and not to the intensity or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been demonstrated to be exceptionally effective.
A number of therapies exist, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which brings together cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
Even though there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant medications are commonly utilized to treat the behavioral responses to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to impact tinnitus itself, but may furnish much-needed relief if thought appropriate by your doctor.
The search for a tinnitus cure is continuous. Several experimental therapies are in development or testing and newer methods become available every year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve realized very little benefit from existing therapies, you could be a candidate for one of these cutting edge treatment options.
Visit the Experimental Therapies web page at the American Tinnitus Association website for more details.
Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is being aggressively researched, with brand new findings and potential treatment options reported every year. Even now, there are a variety of promising treatments that, while not providing a cure, can offer considerable relief. You owe it to yourself to check out 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.