Tinnitus Treatment Options
Tinnitus is the term used to describe the condition of perceiving a ringing, buzzing or whooshing noise in the absence of an external sound source. This is typically only experienced by the person with tinnitus and has a variety of different causes.
Treating the cause
Tinnitus can be caused by many things, and is usually a symptom of an underlying condition. The treatment for your particular tinnitus will depend on the condition that is causing it, the severity, any accompanying issues such as hearing loss, and the impact the tinnitus has on daily activities.
Common causes of tinnitus include:
- Hearing loss
- Exposure to loud noises
- Earwax buildup or blockages
- Abnormal bone growth in the ear
- Meniere's disease
- Head or neck injuries
- Benign tumor of the cranial nerve
- Vascular disorders
- Stress or depression
In order to find out the root cause of your tinnitus, your hearing specialist will conduct a complete medical history, as well as a complete examination.
What you can expect at your appointment
Comprehensive health history review and tinnitus screening questionnaire designed to access the severity and negative impact of tinnitus
Education and counseling on tinnitus
Hearing evaluation comprised of (but not limited to) pure-tone audiogram, speech audiometry, and tympanometry to detect any hearing loss
Tinnitus assessment to identify the pitch and loudness of the tinnitus
Creation of an individualized treatment plan focused on your specific needs
What treatments are available?
Depending on the cause of your tinnitus and other factors, many treatments are available to relieve your tinnitus symptoms from sound-based therapy to hearing aids with the use of noise maskers, behavioral therapy, or any combination of these or other treatment options.
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)
One treatment that incorporates sound therapy is called tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), also known as habituation therapy. This therapy attempts to retrain your brain into perceiving the tinnitus in a different way. Typical behavioral therapy may also be included to help the individual cope with any emotional difficulties they’re experiencing, including depression, stress or anger.
After treatment has taken place, further maintenance is important. This may include management of associated health problems or ongoing therapies to support health and manage tinnitus.