Treatment Options for the Ringing in Your Ears

Woman with hand to head in discomfort

While it’s true that there is presently no scientifically-verified method to cure tinnitus, researchers are hard at work to identify one. In the meantime, a variety of tinnitus therapy options exist that can afford considerable relief.

Look at it this way. If you have a headache, you take Tylenol in spite of the fact that it doesn’t “cure” your headache. Pain relievers only make the pain diminish into the background to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with your day. Likewise, tinnitus therapy can help reduce the severity of symptoms so that your tinnitus has negligible affect on your daily routine.

Seeing as every person reacts to tinnitus in a different way, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment. You’ll need to work together with your provider to determine the option that is most effective for you.

Here are some of those options.

Tinnitus Treatment Options

If you are afflicted by tinnitus, you’ll want to explore the following treatment options with your hearing care or healthcare provider.

Treatment of the underlying ailment

Although most instances of tinnitus are not curable—and are derived from hearing loss or other non-reversible injury—some cases are triggered by an underlying physical ailment. You’ll want to rule these out prior to pursuing other treatment options.

Possible physical causes of tinnitus include jaw joint issues (temporomandibular joint, or TMJ dysfunction), too much earwax or any other obstructions in the ear canal, head and neck injuries, and reactions to specific medications.

General Wellness

The degree of tinnitus symptoms can vary depending on all-around health. Taking actions to strengthen general fitness is, consequently, something tinnitus sufferers can get started on immediately to lessen the intensity level of symptoms.

Each individual is unique, and what works for someone else might not work for you. The purpose is to try out various activities to find out what is most effective.

Activities that have revealed promise include instituting a healthy diet, achieving lots of physical exercise, meditating, and participating in activities like bicycling, which can conceal the sounds of tinnitus.

Hearing Aids

Tinnitus is commonly linked to hearing loss and hearing injury. In reaction to reduced stimulation from external sound, the brain goes through maladaptive changes that produce the perception of tinnitus.

By increasing the magnitude of external sound, hearing aids can help mask the tinnitus, making the sounds of tinnitus less noticeable. Hearing aids additionally provide elevated sound stimulation to the brain, which is thought to be neurologically favorable.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy is simply the delivery of sound in the form of white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds to minimize the perceived burden or intensity of tinnitus.

Sound therapy works by masking the tinnitus and also by retraining the brain to reclassify the sounds of tinnitus as insignificant. This twin effect can lower the short and long-term degree of tinnitus.

Sound therapy can be delivered through special tabletop devices, but also through portable multimedia products and even through hearing aids. Medical-quality sound therapy uses customized sounds that match the pitch of the individual’s tinnitus for optimal outcomes.

Behavioral Therapies

Remember that tinnitus is the perception of sound in the brain when no exterior sound is present. The condition is, therefore, highly subjective, and each person reacts differently.

In fact, whether or not the individual perceives tinnitus as debilitating or minor is predominantly as a consequence of psychological reactions and not to the intensity or pitch of the tinnitus. That’s why cognitive/behavioral approaches to tinnitus therapy have been proven to be highly effective.

Several therapies exist, including Mindfulness-Based-Stress-Reduction (MBSR) and Tinnitus-Retraining-Therapy (TRT), which unites cognitive-behavioral-therapy with sound therapy.

Drug Therapies

Although there are no current FDA-approved medications for tinnitus, antianxiety and antidepressant medications are often utilized to treat the behavioral side effects to tinnitus. These medications do not appear to influence tinnitus itself, but may provide much-needed relief if thought to be necessary by your doctor.

Experimental Therapies

The search for a tinnitus cure is on-going. A variety of experimental therapies are in development or evaluation and new methods become available each year. If your tinnitus is significant, and you’ve experienced very little benefit from existing therapies, you could be a candidate for one of these leading edge treatment options.

Visit the Experimental Therapies page at the American Tinnitus Association website for more details.

Find Relief For Your Tinnitus

Tinnitus is being aggressively researched, with new findings and prospective treatment methods announced every year. Even now, there are several encouraging treatments that, while not offering a cure, can offer considerable relief. You owe it to yourself to look into these options, stay positive and persistent in your tinnitus care, and work with your provider to adjust your treatment plan for the greatest results.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.