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3 Tinnitus Treatments

Woman with Tinnitus

People experience tinnitus differently and can have varying levels of severity. Some people only feel that it's a mild annoyance, whereas for others it can feel like a nightmare. Tinnitus sometimes has a temporary cause that is easily addressed. However, two-thirds of cases are linked to hearing loss, and it usually doesn't have a quick fix. Although there is no cure for tinnitus, there are fortunately several treatments. If you see an audiologist, they can help you to find the right treatment for your tinnitus. It's often a good idea to combine several treatments to get the best results. Here are the top three treatments that are used for tinnitus.

1. Hearing aids

Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss. Because of this, hearing aids are often used to help treat it. Wearing hearing aids improves your hearing, which means that your brain doesn't have to work so hard to interpret sound. Not only can hearing aids help to relieve tinnitus and improve your hearing, but it's been shown that they can help to keep your brain healthier too. To find the right hearing aids for you, your audiologist will test your hearing and talk to you about your health and lifestyle. Hearing aids come in different styles with various features, so you have a wide choice. Some also have a feature designed to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus. By channeling extra background noise into your ear, it can help you adjust to the tinnitus.

2. Sound machines

Sound machines are used to help suppress the noises from tinnitus. Tinnitus symptoms are often more noticeable in quiet environments when there are few other sounds for the ears to pick up on. It's not entirely clear why sound machines are helpful; it could be because they provide a distraction or relaxation or because it causes changes to the sensitivity in the hearing parts of the brain. It could also be both of these things. Sound machines can come in the form of a device that you use in your home, such as a white noise machine or another sound generator. You can also get wearable devices, some of which are combined with hearing aids. This is particularly useful if you also have hearing loss.

3. Tinnitus retraining therapy

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a form of habituation therapy that aims to help you adjust to tinnitus sounds. It combines counseling and sound therapy to retrain the brain and alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus. It deals with the sound itself and how you react to the sound. Sound therapy helps to mask and distract from the sound of tinnitus. It can train the brain to tune out the sound, much like it would many background noises. Counseling helps to manage the emotional reaction to tinnitus. Tinnitus can cause stress, anxiety, and depression, which in turn can make tinnitus worse. Counseling such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) aims to address this.

Your audiologist can help you to choose the best treatment for tinnitus. Each person may find different treatments effective.