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How to Find Relief for Your Tinnitus

Woman with hand to head in discomfort

Although it’s true that there is currently no scientifically-proven way to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to discover one. In the meantime, a variety of tinnitus therapy options exist that can supply substantial relief.

Think about it in this way. If you have a headache, you take Tylenol despite the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers simply make the pain diminish into the background so that it doesn’t impact your day. Likewise, tinnitus therapy can help lower the degree of symptoms so that your tinnitus has marginal impact on your daily routine.

Given that every person 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 Options

If you suffer from tinnitus, you’ll want to talk over the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare professional.

Treatment of the underlying problem

While most instances of tinnitus are not curable—and result from hearing loss or other non-reversible damage—some cases are the result of an underlying physical ailment. You’ll want to rule these out before pursuing other treatment methods.

Possible physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint issues (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 Wellness

The seriousness of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on all-around health. Taking actions to enhance general fitness is, therefore, something tinnitus patients can get started on right away to reduce the intensity level of symptoms.

Each individual is different, and what works out for someone else may not be right for you. The purpose is to experiment with a range of activities to find out what works best.

Activities that have demonstrated promise include instituting a healthy diet, achieving plenty of physical exercise, meditating, and engaging in activities like cycling, which can mask the sounds of tinnitus.

Hearing Aids

Tinnitus is frequently connected to hearing loss and hearing injury. In response to decreased stimulation from external sound, the brain undergoes maladaptive changes that result in the perception of tinnitus.

By strengthening the magnitude of external sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less recognizable. Hearing aids also provide elevated sound stimulation to the brain, which is considered to be neurologically favorable.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy is essentially the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to minimize the perceived burden or intensity of tinnitus.

Sound therapy works by covering up the tinnitus and additionally by retraining the brain to recategorize the sounds of tinnitus as inconsequential. This combined effect can lower the short and long-term intensity of tinnitus.

Sound therapy can be supplied through special tabletop devices, but also through portable multimedia products and even through hearing aids. Medical-quality sound therapy makes use of individualized sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for optimal results.

Behavioral Therapy

Remember that tinnitus is the perception of sound in the brain when no exterior sound is present. The condition is, therefore, highly personal, and each person responds differently.

In fact, whether or not the individual perceives tinnitus as life-altering or as no-big-deal is largely due to psychological tendencies and not to the loudness or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been proven to be highly effective.

Several therapies exist, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which integrates cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.

Drug Therapies

Even though there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant medications are commonly used to treat the behavioral reactions to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to affect tinnitus itself, but may supply much-needed relief if thought to be necessary by your doctor.

Experimental Therapies

The search for a tinnitus cure is continuous. Many experimental therapies are in development or evaluation and newer methods become available every year. If your tinnitus is severe, and you’ve achieved little benefit from existing therapies, you could be a candidate for one of these cutting edge treatment options.

Check out the Experimental Therapies web page at the American Tinnitus Association website for more information.

Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus

Tinnitus is being aggressively investigated, with new discoveries and potential treatment options announced every year. Even today, there are a variety of encouraging treatments that, while not supplying a cure, can offer significant relief. You owe it to yourself to inquire about these options, stay positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work together with your provider to refine your treatment plan for the greatest results.

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