There is no universal cure for all forms of tinnitus but almost all people can be treated to reduce the effects of tinnitus. It is very important that the public understands with clarity that just because something can't be cured, it doesn't mean that it can't be effectively treated with one or a few methods.
Some would argue that there are already cures for some types of tinnitus. For example, a high percentage of people with one sided deafness and associated tinnitus have been 'cured' using cochlear implants. You will read on this site that there are many other physical conditions that can cause tinnitus. If the underlying condition is treated effectively then the tinnitus can be reduced or eliminated.
Most tinnitus professionals are generally of the opinion that there won't be a universal cure anytime soon or indeed at all but there is a strong probability of a range of cures for different forms of tinnitus as medical advances are made.
Almost all forms of tinnitus can be treated using a personalised tailored approach of sound therapy, education, relaxation, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
In classic tinnitus therapy we talk about the habituation of the reaction to tinnitus followed by habituation of the tinnitus itself. It is the emotional reaction that causes the distress in patients, whereas in comparison the tinnitus is merely a nuisance.
It may sound backwards, but by treating the reaction to the perceived nuisance, the severity of the tinnitus is itself reduced and reduced emotional re-enforcement promotes successful habituation of the tinnitus itself. Although very difficult to measure, a combination of sound therapy and CBT have been shown to have the most positive results in treating tinnitus.
This can't really be called a tinnitus 'cure' but if you have bothersome tinnitus and you can be treated so that it doesn't bother you anymore, to the point where you rarely notice it, then it is still a very effective treatment. Unfortunately, people still say things like, "there's nothing you can do about tinnitus" and "you'll just have to learn to live with it". By creating the first UK network of tinnitus specialising audiologists, we at Tinnitus UK wish to inform people of the facts.