Treatment Methods for Tinnitus
Tinnitus (a ringing sensation in the ears in the absence of any external stimulus) is a problem that affects around forty five million people in the United States. Generally speaking people with tinnitus perceive a whistling, hissing, or buzzing sound in the absence of any such sound being present.
It is important to note that tinnitus itself is not an illness. In fact it can often be a symptom of some other underlying disease that if treated successfully, can cure tinnitus. Extraneous causes for tinnitus include build up of earwax, use of certain medications, and problems with blood flow. Sometimes the actual cause for tinnitus may not be determined and such cases are believed to be a result of trauma to the inner ear nerve cells. Other causes of tinnitus include extended exposure to noise and hearing loss due to age.
Tinnitus has several different treatment options. If it is caused by hearing loss, it can be remedied using hearing aids that help amplify sound so that the symptoms of tinnitus are no longer noticeable.
Sound therapy is also another treatment method for tinnitus that utilizes various types of white noises and sounds of nature, music and other noises to help ease the uncomfortable noises caused by tinnitus.
Certain behavioral therapy methods are also effective treatment options for tinnitus by helping sufferers overcome psychological aspects related to tinnitus. Mindfulness techniques can help reduce stress and learn successful coping mechanisms. Tinnitus Retaining Therapy (TRT) is one such form of therapy which combines cognitive-behavioral therapy along with sound masking therapy. TRT helps people reprogram their brains so that they can begin to perceive their tinnitus as inconsequential which enables them to successfully overlook and overcome the effects of tinnitus.
Overall improvements in lifestyle habits can enhance general wellness which in turn helps reduce the degree of tinnitus. Healthy changes in daily nutrition, increased physical exercise, pursuing recreational activities, and increasing social contact can help improve general wellness and decrease stress and tinnitus.
Several types of experimental therapies are also available for treatment consideration of tinnitus. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation which passes electromagnetic impulses to the area of the brain that is causing tinnitus. Deep Brain Stimulation also uses similar electromagnetic impulses but is more invasive and requires surgical procedures and implantation of electrodes within the brain. Another experimental method is Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation which also uses electromagnetic energy to calm the hyperactive tissues in the brain that are believed to cause tinnitus. In any case, it is always best to seek the help of a medical professional before opting for any of the above treatment options for tinnitus.