Tinnitus Treatment Options
Tinnitus, or the perception of sounds in the ears, is at best an annoying presence some patients can ignore and at worst a debilitating quality of life condition. Tinnitus can be ringing, music, static, train whistles, or any other sound. Tinnitus can be intermittent or consistent, loud or soft, steady or fluctuating, and high or low pitched.
According to the American Tinnitus Association, there are several well-established therapies for patients struggling with tinnitus. The primary goal of current treatments is to lessen the perception of tinnitus. At this time, no scientifically proven cure for tinnitus exists. Because several underlying conditions can cause tinnitus, no one treatment plan works well for every person and no treatment plan fully eliminates the perception of tinnitus.
Several therapies help patients manage their tinnitus; treatments that reduce the perceived intensity, presence and burden of tinnitus. These treatments are not cures – they neither repair the underlying causes of tinnitus nor eliminate the tinnitus signal in the brain. Rather, they address the attentional, emotional, and cognitive impact of tinnitus. They help patients live better, more fulfilling, and more productive lives.
Since no two patients, and no two tinnitus cases, are alike, the treatment plan is based on individual factors. Treatment plans can include components from each of the five areas of treatment:
general wellness – exercise, eating right
sound therapies – training your brain to ignore the tinnitus or presenting other noises to mask the tinnitus
behavioral therapies – dealing with anger, anxiety, stress
drug therapies – ie: anxiety medications, as prescribed by a physician
Experiment therapies are also available where studies are being performed.
In summary, while nothing can eliminate tinnitus, options may be available to make the noises more manageable. Contact an audiologist or physician to learn more.