While it’s true that there is at this time no scientifically-confirmed way to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to identify one. In the meantime, a variety of tinnitus therapy options are available that can deliver significant relief.
Think about 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 disappear into the background to ensure that it doesn’t affect your day. Similarly, tinnitus therapies can help decrease the severity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has negligible impact on your daily life.
Considering that every person responds to tinnitus in a different way, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll need to work with your provider to uncover the approach that is best suited for you.
Here are many of those options.
Tinnitus Treatment Solutions
If you experience tinnitus, you’ll want to talk over the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare professional.
Treatment of the underlying condition
Although the majority of cases of tinnitus are not curable—and are a consequence of hearing loss or other non-reversible injury—certain cases are the consequence of an underlying physical ailment. You’ll want to rule these out prior to seeking other treatment methods.
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 responses to particular medications.
General Health And Well-being
The severity of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on overall health. Taking actions to enrich general fitness is, therefore, something tinnitus patients can get started on immediately to minimize the extent of symptoms.
Every individual is different, and what works well for someone else might not work for you. The idea is to try out a variety of activities to find out what is most effective.
Strategies that have shown promise include instituting a healthy diet, achieving plenty of physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like bicycling, which can conceal the sounds of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss and hearing damage. In reaction to decreased stimulation from external sound, the brain goes through maladaptive changes that bring about the perception of tinnitus.
By strengthening the magnitude of external sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less perceptible. Hearing aids also provide enhanced sound stimulation to the brain, which is presumed to be neurologically favorable.
Sound therapy is basically the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to lower the perceived burden or intensity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy operates by masking the tinnitus and additionally by training the brain to reclassify the sounds of tinnitus as inconsequential. This combined effect can limit the short and long-term severity of tinnitus.
Sound therapy can be supplied through special tabletop gadgets, but also through portable media products and even through hearing aids. Medical-grade sound therapy employs customized sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for optimal results.
Recall that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no outside sound is present. The ailment is, therefore, very personal, and each person responds a unique way.
In fact, whether or not the individual perceives tinnitus as debilitating or minor is predominantly due to psychological reactions and not to the volume or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been proven to be very effective.
A number of therapies are available, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which integrates cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.
While there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant prescriptions are regularly used to manage the behavioral responses to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to influence tinnitus itself, but may furnish much-needed relief if thought to be necessary by your physician.
The search for a tinnitus cure is ongoing. A number of experimental therapies are in development or testing and newer techniques become available each year. If your tinnitus is significant, and you’ve attained very little benefit from existing therapies, you may be a candidate for one of these cutting edge treatment options.
Check out the Experimental Therapies webpage at the American Tinnitus Association website for more information.
Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus
Tinnitus is currently being aggressively studied, with new findings and prospective treatment options reported every year. Even today, there are several promising treatments that, while not supplying a cure, can offer significant relief. You owe it to yourself to inquire about these options, remain positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work together with your provider to fine-tune your treatment plan for the best results.