Over the years, many methods of tinnitus treatment have been introduced, but very few have survived the test of time. Tinnitus UK centres use the most effective, clinically proven treatment options available. All Tinnitus UK centres are trained by us, using treatment methods that have high success rates for our patients.
Included below is information about several of the treatments we commonly use.
Commonly tinnitus can be associated with hearing loss, and if this is the case then the use of hearing aids may be beneficial. Hearing aids are small electronic devices worn in or behind the ear, and they can be referred to as ‘masking devices’. This is because they can produce a low-level white noise to mask your tinnitus, and can make external sounds louder. This helps decrease your awareness of the tinnitus. This can also produce residual inhibition, which means that the tinnitus is less noticeable for a short time after the ‘masker’ is turned off. Masking the sound of the tinnitus helps the brain focus on outside noises rather than the tinnitus.
In addition to this, they will enable you to hear sounds better and understand speech more clearly, providing an overall improvement in communication ability. This enables you to battle feelings of isolation and helps you communication with family and friends better, increasing your quality of life greatly.
Modified Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), aims to retrain the way your brain responds to tinnitus, making it less noticeable. It is based on the assumption that tinnitus results from abnormal neuronal activity.
This therapy uses extensive collection of information about the patient, including patient history and daily routine. TRT uses a device worn in or behind the ear in order to divert attention away from the tinnitus. The device produces low-level noise and environmental sounds that match the pitch, volume and quality of your tinnitus.
This therapy also uses psychological therapy that teaches the patient to ignore the tinnitus noise, combining deep relaxation exercises and stress management. This helps to eliminate the patient’s anxiety and diverts the concentration away from the tinnitus noise.
The duration of this therapy is dependent on each individual patient.
This therapy requires close participation with hearing professionals, which is why you should contact a Tinnitus UK trained audiologist for this therapy.
CBT is known as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), this type of therapy helps to change the way you think about your tinnitus, so it becomes less noticeable.
CBT uses techniques such as cognitive restricting and relaxation to change the way you think about and respond to the tinnitus. It helps to deal with the anxiety and stress that can come with having tinnitus, and this will help it to become less noticeable. The main feature within this therapy is that it helps you to understand your thought processes in relation to the condition, enabling you to have more positive thoughts.
This therapy can help you to recognise that tinnitus is not dangerous and can help to deal with the stress, providing you with an improved quality of life.
These cognitive behavioural programmes can be on a one-one basis or within a group session and could be with a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist or a specially trained audiologist.
Due to CBT trained audiologist specialist being fairly rare, Tinnitus UK chooses to represent TRT trained audiologists, who may or may not have an additional CBT qualification.
This involves patients listening to neutral and external noise to distract from the sound of the tinnitus. Through this the sound can mask the perception of the tinnitus, but it can also help the brain reclassify tinnitus as an unimportant sound that can be consciously ignored.
Further neuromodulation sound therapy can be used, this is the use of specialised sound to minimise the neural hyperactivity that is thought to be underlying cause of tinnitus.
People can often find it difficult getting off to sleep, this may be due to the fact they can shift from a relatively noisy daytime environment to the quietness of the bedroom. This can make the tinnitus that much more noticeable. Sound therapy can be particularly useful during this time. By listening to these external sounds, it can help you to drift off to into a nice peaceful sleep. It is important to get a good night sleep to be able to function properly the next day.
Patients that are struggling to sleep at night due to tinnitus, and are then unable to do the things they love the next day due to be tired, may then experience feeling isolated and depressed. This can be a vicious cycle and lead to the tinnitus becoming even worse. Sound therapy could be your answer to improving quality of life and managing your tinnitus during certain times of the day.
Sound therapy can be particularly useful if you suffer during certain times of the day, especially at night time. By listening to these external sounds, it can help you to drift off to sleep easily to then get a good night’s sleep and be able to fully function the next day.