You Have Options For Managing Your Tinnitus
Your tinnitus — or the ringing sound in your ears — may be a mild and an intermittent annoyance. Or maybe it’s severe and has profoundly affected your quality of life. Whatever degree of tinnitus you have, finding relief is a priority. And thankfully, ihear can help you with your tinnitus treatment.
What causes tinnitus?
The most common causes of tinnitus are:
- Exposure to excessive noise exposure (without the right hearing protection) e.g. gunshots, machinery or live music
- The natural aging process
- Head or neck injury
- Side effects from medication
- Ear infections
Our clinicians will need to see you in person to determine what might be causing your tinnitus, and so that any serious underlying medical conditions can be ruled out.
What Tinnitus Treatments Are Available
It depends on what’s causing the tinnitus. Sometimes the problem can be treated easily, and that alleviates the symptom of tinnitus. Like an ear infection for example. If the cause of your tinnitus means that it is persistent or permanent, we’ll then help you with steps to relief the discomfort.
Counselling and sound therapy (tinnitus retraining therapy or habituation) can lessen your emotional response to the sounds. You can train your brain to attach no negative emotional meaning to the tinnitus, so you can get back to living life the way you want to.
If you have a hearing loss as well as tinnitus, our ihear clinicians can recommend hearing aid products like a tinnitus masker with special Multiflex Tinnitus Technology. These deliver a customizable and comforting ‘sound therapy’ stimulus that will balance, soothe, or even completely mask the unwanted tinnitus noises.
How does a tinnitus masker work?
Tinnitus masking is based on the premise that sufferers are most bothered in quiet or silent settings, like going to bed at night. Tinnitus maskers are available as wearable, or non-wearable. Wearable devices sit inside the ear canal and emit a comforting sound (often a “shhh” or similar white noise) to take your focus off the unpleasant tinnitus noises. Different devices offer the ability to either completely mask the sound, or just blend the unwanted sound to a level that’s more pleasant.
Tinnitus maskers are also available in a ‘table top’ format, and can be beneficial when placed near the bed to aid in getting to sleep. Starkey Hearing Technologies, which manufactures our Multiflex Tinnitus Technology products, has released a tinnitus relief app, which operates as tinnitus masker. Relax is available on iPhone and Android devices and includes 12 customizable relief sounds including crackling fire, rainfall and ocean waves.
What is tinnitus retraining therapy?
Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is also known as habituation therapy. It involves the retraining of the auditory system to recognize the annoying sounds of tinnitus as natural, rather than as a threat. The goal is to remove negative emotions associated with the noises, alleviating the stress and anxiety of tinnitus. TRT consists of both educational counselling sessions and sound therapy.
Studies have shown that around 80 percent of patients treated through TRT have achieved relief. They may be aware of their tinnitus, but they’ll be less bothered by it. When TRT is successful, patients will also perceive their tinnitus is present for less time than they previously noticed it.
Is there a permanent cure for tinnitus?
Sadly there is no proven cure for tinnitus, and you should be wary of the any promises or “miracle products” out there on the internet — these have no scientific basis. However, there are treatment options that provide tinnitus relief. Over the past few year, scientific advancements have made huge strides in tinnitus relief management. Currently, relief management comes in two treatment options: hearing aids and sound therapy. And unlike “miracle cures”, these are clinically proven to soothe the irritating sounds of tinnitus and provide relief.
If you have tinnitus, our clinicians will work with you to help you manage your tinnitus symptoms.