For those living with tinnitus, finding an effective treatment can be difficult. As this hearing issue has no way for health professionals to measure with traditional tools, the main advice sufferers receive it to just learn how to live with their tinnitus. But you don’t have to accept that advice.
When you work with hearing health care professionals here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, you can find solutions for your tinnitus symptoms. We specialize in helping you with your hearing-related issues—which include tinnitus—and our hearing professionals are able to provide you with a number of effective treatments such as tinnitus retraining therapy.
What Is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Put simply, tinnitus retraining therapy is a form of tinnitus treatment that combines different therapeutic modalities to retrain your brain to ignore the sound of your tinnitus. The two main therapies used are sound therapy and cognitive behavior therapy.
Tinnitus and Sound Therapy
One of the critical aspects of tinnitus retraining therapy is the sound therapy component which has a three-fold effect. The most immediate impact of the sound therapy aspect is the relief tinnitus sufferers can receive from using modulated sounds to contrast the irritating, often monotone tinnitus sounds.
With soothing sounds being played—either by your own audio device or hearing aids with tinnitus management built-in—you won’t be left in silence to have your tinnitus nag you. Along with the relief the sound therapy can bring, the sound gives your brain sounds to properly process and file away.
Much like with background noise that you can become accustomed to and ignore, this part of tinnitus retraining therapy works to habituate your brain to the background therapeutic noise as well as your tinnitus. As your brain is trained to get used to hearing tinnitus much like any other background sound, its impact on you will be significantly lessened.
The last major effect of sound therapy is its ability to assist with neuromodulation. Your continual perception of tinnitus triggers your brain into hyperactivity, which is both exhausting as well as emotionally and mentally stressful. With sound therapy, this high activity can be eased, and your brain can be allowed to rest from constantly actively processing your tinnitus.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Tinnitus
Combined with the sound therapy of tinnitus retraining therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of therapy aims to address the emotional triggers associated with tinnitus and helps you to recognize your triggers and incorporate behaviors that help you actively manage your tinnitus.
For instance, say that when you struggle with a particularly strong bout of tinnitus, you tend to feel depressed. Instead of falling into depression and self-defeating thoughts, you will learn to combat those feelings with active statements such as “I have experienced tinnitus before. I am stronger than my tinnitus, and it will be okay.”
Along with active thought retraining, the behavioral aspect of tinnitus retraining therapy will focus on the physical triggers you experience with your tinnitus, such as listening to loud music or over-consuming stimulants. Our hearing health professionals can advise you on healthier behaviors that can help you manage your tinnitus in the future.
While our hearing professionals do not operate as mental health therapists, they can use behavioral therapy practices to help you manage your tinnitus as part of tinnitus retraining therapy.
Should You Try Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Whether you struggle with mild-to-severe tinnitus, you can benefit from tinnitus retraining therapy. Depending on the severity of your tinnitus, our hearing instrument specialists will recommend different tools to work with this therapy, such as sound generators and hearing aids to assist with your tinnitus retraining therapy.
If you are interested in tinnitus retraining therapy or want to explore your tinnitus treatment options, please feel free to contact us. Our hearing instrument specialists are ready to consult with you on your tinnitus and will work with you to find the best solutions possible.