How to Find Relief for Your Tinnitus

Woman with hand to head in discomfort

While it’s true that there is at this time no scientifically-verified way to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to discover one. In the meantime, a range of tinnitus therapy options are available that can afford considerable 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 merely make the pain disappear into the background so that it doesn’t interfere with your day. Likewise, tinnitus therapy can help reduce the intensity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has little influence on your daily schedule.

Considering that everyone reacts to tinnitus differently, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll need to work together with your provider to find the approach that works the best for you.

Here are many of those options.

Tinnitus Treatment Solutions

If you experience tinnitus, you’ll want to review the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare provider.

Treatment of the underlying problem

Whereas the majority of instances of tinnitus are not curable—and are the result of hearing loss or other non-reversible damage—certain cases are the consequence of an underlying physical ailment. You’ll want to rule these out prior to seeking other treatment options.

Possible physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint issues (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), too much earwax or other blockages in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and reactions to some medications.

General Health And Fitness

The severity of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on overall health. Taking steps to enhance general well-being is, therefore, something tinnitus patients can get started on immediately to minimize the extent of symptoms.

Every person is unique, and what gets results for someone else might not be right for you. The purpose is to experiment with a variety of activities to learn what works best.

Strategies that have revealed promise include instituting a healthy diet, getting adequate physical exercise, meditating, and partaking in activities like cycling, which can cover up the sounds of tinnitus.

Hearing Aids

Tinnitus is frequently connected to hearing loss and hearing damage. In reaction to decreased stimulation from outside sound, the brain undergoes maladaptive changes that bring about the perception of tinnitus.

By increasing the magnitude of environmental sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less detectable. Hearing aids also supply elevated sound stimulation to the brain, which is thought to be neurologically beneficial.

Sound Therapies

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

Sound therapy works by masking the tinnitus and also by retraining the brain to recategorize the sounds of tinnitus as inconsequential. This combined effect can minimize the short and long-term degree of tinnitus.

Sound therapy can be provided through special tabletop devices, but also through portable media products and even through hearing aids. Medical-grade sound therapy uses custom sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for the best outcomes.

Behavioral Therapies

Bear in mind that tinnitus is the sense of sound in the brain when no exterior sound is present. The affliction is, for that reason, highly subjective, and each person responds a unique way.

In fact, whether or not the individual perceives tinnitus as life-altering or as no-big-deal is largely as a consequence of emotional tendencies and not to the volume or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been demonstrated to be exceptionally effective.

A number of techniques exist, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which brings together cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.

Drug Therapies

Even though there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant medications are often used to treat the behavioral side effects to tinnitus. These drugs do not appear to affect tinnitus itself, but may offer much-needed relief if thought to be appropriate by your physician.

Experimental Therapies

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

Visit the Experimental Therapies webpage at the American Tinnitus Association website for additional information.

Obtain Relief For Your Tinnitus

Tinnitus is being aggressively investigated, with new findings and prospective treatment methods introduced every year. Even today, there are several promising treatments that, while not supplying a cure, can offer appreciable relief. You owe it to yourself to look into these options, stay positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work with your provider to fine-tune your treatment plan for the greatest results.

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