Though it’s true that there is at this time no scientifically-proven method to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to identify one. In the meantime, a range of tinnitus therapy options are available that can deliver considerable relief.
Think of it this way. When you have a headache, you take Tylenol despite the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers merely make the pain diminish into the background to ensure that it doesn’t impact your day. In the same way, tinnitus therapy can help limit the severity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has minimum influence on your daily life.
Considering everyone reacts to tinnitus differently, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll need to work together with your provider to uncover the approach that works best for you.
Here are many of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Solutions
If you suffer from tinnitus, you’ll want to discuss the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare professional.
Treatment of the underlying ailment
While the majority of cases of tinnitus are not curable—and are derived from hearing loss or other non-reversible injury—some cases are triggered by an underlying physical ailment. You’ll want to rule these out prior to seeking other treatment methods.
Potential physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint problems (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), too much earwax or any other blockages in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and reactions to select medications.
General Health And Fitness
The degree of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on all-around health. Taking actions to enrich general well-being is, therefore, something tinnitus sufferers can get started on right away to decrease the intensity level of symptoms.
Every patient is different, and what works for someone else might not be right for you. The purpose is to try out a variety of activities to learn what is most effective.
Activities that have displayed promise include instituting a healthy diet, getting adequate physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like bicycling, which can mask the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is commonly connected to hearing loss and hearing damage. In response to reduced stimulation from external sound, the brain goes through maladaptive changes that bring about the perception of tinnitus.
By strengthening the magnitude of environmental sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less recognizable. Hearing aids additionally supply enhanced sound stimulation to the brain, which is considered to be neurologically favorable.
Sound therapy is simply the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to decrease the perceived burden or severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy operates by masking the tinnitus and also by retraining the brain to recategorize the sounds of tinnitus as insignificant. This double effect can decrease the short and long-term degree of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be provided through special tabletop gadgets, but also through portable multimedia devices and even through hearing aids. Medical-grade sound therapy makes use of individualized sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for the most effective results.
Remember that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no outside sound is present. The condition is, therefore, highly personal, and each person reacts differently.
In fact, whether or not the individual perceives tinnitus as life-altering or as no-big-deal is largely due to psychological reactions and not to the loudness or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral solutions to tinnitus therapy have been shown to be very effective.
Several techniques are available, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which combines cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
While there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant medications are commonly used to manage the behavioral responses to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to impact tinnitus itself, but may offer much-needed relief if deemed necessary by your doctor.
The search for a tinnitus cure is on-going. A variety of experimental therapies are in development or evaluation and newer methods become available every year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve realized little benefit from existing therapies, you may be a candidate for one of these leading edge treatment options.
Check out the Experimental Therapies webpage at the American Tinnitus Association website for additional details.
Find Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is currently being aggressively researched, with brand new findings and prospective treatment options announced every year. Even today, you can find a variety of encouraging treatments that, while not supplying a cure, can provide appreciable relief. You owe it to yourself to explore these options, stay positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work with your provider to refine your treatment plan for the best results.