Though it’s true that there is currently no scientifically-proven way to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to uncover one. In the meantime, various tinnitus therapy options exist that can deliver substantial relief.
Look at it in this way. If you have a headache, you take Tylenol in spite of the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers only make the pain fade into the background so that it doesn’t affect your day. In the same way, tinnitus therapy can help lessen the severity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has marginal impact on your daily schedule.
Considering every person responds to tinnitus differently, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll need to work together with your provider to determine the approach that works the best for you.
Here are many of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Options
If you experience tinnitus, you’ll want to examine the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare provider.
Treatment of the underlying problem
While most instances of tinnitus are not curable—and are the result of hearing loss or other non-reversible injury—certain cases are the result of an underlying physical condition. You’ll want to rule these out prior to pursuing other treatment options.
Potential physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint problems (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), too much earwax or other obstructions in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and side effects to particular medications.
The degree of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on all-around health. Taking actions to boost general fitness is, therefore, one thing tinnitus patients can get started on immediately to reduce the intensity of symptoms.
Each patient is different, and what gets results for someone else may not work for you. The purpose is to try out various activities to discover what is most effective.
Activities that have demonstrated promise include instituting a healthy diet, getting plenty of physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like bicycling, which can conceal the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is frequently connected to hearing loss and hearing injury. In response to diminished stimulation from external sound, the brain goes through maladaptive changes that generate the perception of tinnitus.
By strengthening the magnitude of environmental sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less perceptible. Hearing aids in addition supply elevated sound stimulation to the brain, which is presumed to be neurologically beneficial.
Sound therapy is simply the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to minimize the perceived burden or severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy works by masking the tinnitus and additionally by retraining the brain to reidentify the sounds of tinnitus as trivial. This twofold effect can lessen the short and long-term severity 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 employs individualized sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for optimal outcomes.
Keep in mind that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no external sound is present. The condition is, for that reason, highly subjective, 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 emotional tendencies and not to the volume or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been shown to be very 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 frequently utilized to treat the behavioral responses to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to impact tinnitus itself, but may supply much-needed relief if deemed appropriate by your physician.
The search for a tinnitus cure is continuous. A number of experimental therapies are in development or testing and newer methods become available each year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve experienced very little benefit from existing therapies, you could be a candidate for one of these innovative treatment options.
Visit the Experimental Therapies webpage at the American Tinnitus Association website for more details.
Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is being aggressively studied, with new findings and prospective treatment options reported every year. Even now, you can find several encouraging treatments that, while not providing a cure, can provide considerable relief. You owe it to yourself to investigate these options, stay positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work together with your provider to adjust your treatment plan for the best results.