The hard truth is that there is no medication or drug treatment for tinnitus. Research is underway but it will be many years before we see any drugs to treat this condition.
That, however, does not stop the suffering that millions of people go through daily when they hear constant ringing, buzzing or other phantom noises. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a type of treatment type that combines sound therapy and counselling to sufferers to help them adjust and cope with their condition better.
With counseling, the patient better understands their condition, its symptoms and what they can do to help themselves. The therapy will also involve a combination of tinnitus retraining and sound enrichment.
This will reduce their negative perception and reaction to the tinnitus noises. There are 2 components when treating patients. The first is the counseling which aims to make the patient look at these noises as neutral signals. The second is to employ sound therapy to weaken neuronal activity that triggers tinnitus symptoms.
Using a Sound generator
Have you ever noticed that people who live close to an airport or train tracks are oblivious to the loud sounds from the passing trains or planes? They’ll sleep peacefully even if the roar of a plane engine sounded like it was just outside their door.
The reason for this is that they have tuned out these sounds. That’s basically what a sound generator does for tinnitus sufferers. It distracts them from the tinnitus buzzing in their ears.
These sound generators are most often used just before bedtime when it is quiet and the buzzing in their ears starts acting up.
Most of the commercially available sound generators come with timers so that they stop after a pre-set time when you are fast asleep.
There are also several other products on the market designed to teach your brain to ignore the buzzing noises in your ear that do not really exist. There are devices that can be worn behind the ear and generate broad-band noise.
These products are designed to encourage complete habituation of the noise. Once that is achieved, the problem is mostly solved.
TRT also involves the patient working with hearing experts help in his recovery. The therapist will collect data about the patient, his history, eating habits, level of stress, etc.
It is a holistic therapy aimed at making the patient relax and not get stressed out over life’s little inconveniences and setbacks. Deep relaxation techniques are taught and have often been remarkably effective in helping many tinnitus patients.
Stress is one of the factors that cause tinnitus.
In some instances, there may be support groups or group therapy sessions to help the patient maintain a positive outlook. Peer support will also be helpful and a common understanding of what they are going through will help patients bond better.
It must be noted that not everyone who has tinnitus suffers. Some people naturally handle the symptoms which can be annoying, better than others who get anxious and irritated.
Understanding that tinnitus has no optimal treatment will make one realize that it’s better to maintain a positive outlook and try out TRT and see if it works on them. In most cases, they will experience some benefits and maybe even be cured.