What are the 3 Most Common Treatments for Tinnitus?

a woman experiencing slight ear discomfort

If you’re experiencing ringing, buzzing or swooshing sounds in your ears, you may be experiencing tinnitus. It’s not news that over 50-million Americans have some form of tinnitus. Consult with your audiologist if you have tinnitus. This article sheds more light on the three most common treatments for tinnitus

How Does Tinnitus Affect People? 

While tinnitus may be difficult to pinpoint, it can negatively impact the quality of life for patients. Many find it challenging to sleep, as they constantly hear a noise that keeps them away. This can result in fatigue, irritability and overall unproductivity. Hearing constant noises in your ear can get in the way of concentration, especially when you wish to perform complicated tasks. 

Seeing that tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, the constant noises in your ears can negatively impact how you communicate with other people. That said, it’s not uncommon for people with tinnitus to feel isolated, misunderstood and self-conscious. This, in turn, can cause anxiety, depression, stress and low self-esteem, significantly affecting their mental health. Therefore, it’s imperative to see your audiologist to help relieve the effects of tinnitus on your everyday life. 

What Are the Most Common Tinnitus Treatments? 

Fortunately, there are various treatments for tinnitus, and many patients may try them out to find the most effective one. However, you can consider the following. 

Hearing Aids and Other Devices 

Since tinnitus can be triggered by earwax buildup or hearing loss, it’s prudent to visit your audiologist to be fitted for hearing aids. Indeed, modern hearing aids have masking properties that augment the volume of external sounds around you. This ends up suppressing tinnitus sounds, helping your brain focus more on the sounds around you.

However, it’s not prudent to pick a hearing aid without the recommendation of your audiologist, as they have to perform a fitting test to get the best options for your tinnitus. As a tip, work with your audiologist to determine the suitable pitch for your condition. 

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) 

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is designed to help you learn how to live on a subconscious and conscious levels with your tinnitus. Various studies indicated that TRT is effective for 80% of people, and most of them can sustain their results for longer periods. Before commencing a TRT session, three crucial steps are followed: 

  • Collecting detailed information of patient’s history and daily habits.
  • Using devices worn behind the ear to generate broad-band noise, diverting the patient’s attention from tinnitus sounds.
  • Leveraging psychological therapy to enable the patients to ignore tinnitus noise. Stress management and deep relaxation exercises work to reduce anxiety and stress. 

Sound Machines  Sound machines are also referred to as white noise machines. They are free-sounding devices that provide various sounds ranging from the sounds of nature to music or flowing water. The sounds can help patients habituate to their tinnitus and filter it out mentally. Despite its effectiveness, it’s not recommended as the only treatment. You can mix it with other treatments for the best results.