Does Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Really Work?

Anyone suffering from tinnitus (or “ringing in the ears”) can certainly relate when it comes to looking for the most effective treatment available.  One controversial treatment option is tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT).

When considering this treatment, one of the most common questions is, “Does tinnitus retraining therapy really work?”  Understanding what tinnitus retraining therapy is and how it works can go a long way in properly answering that question.

Here are some important facts about TRT and what type of results you can expect.  For information on other tinnitus treatments, read: Reverse My Tinnitus Review – Do Alan Watson And Dr. James Phillips Provide A Viable Treatment Option For Tinnitus Sufferers?

What Exactly Is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?

This treatment process involves an extensive and detailed audiological evaluation of your condition, including several different counseling sessions that involve using external sounds and frequencies through sound devices.  These sounds are used as a way to train the subconscious mind to ignore the ringing, hissing, and buzzing sounds that often cause tinnitus sufferers so much anguish.

By incorporating more natural and less invasive sounds that distract from the internal source of tinnitus noises, the brain is “trained” to ignore the buzzing, hissing, and ringing.  TRT (also known as auditory habituation) does not get rid of tinnitus noises, but instead masks them and simply teaches patients how to become less aware of them.

Which Types Of Testing Are Utilized?

Because there are no side effects to the testing, the physician can utilize a variety of hearing evaluation tests in order to determine the level of tinnitus in each individual patient.  These tests are a series of low level sound waves that are sent into the ear and the patient is asked to determine whether or not they help reduce their tinnitus symptoms .

Does Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Really Work?

Tinnitus retraining therapy is not a quick process, and the treatment typically takes from one to two years to complete, but is dependent on how severe the tinnitus is within each individual patient. Many patients see significant improvement within the first six months even though they are encouraged to continue the therapy until the process has been completed.

These therapy sessions help train the brain to gradually disregard the unwanted noises over time. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, therapy can include stress management, music therapy, and amplification therapy.  Once the physician understands the severity of your condition, the appropriate therapy will be utilized to improve your tinnitus.

What Types Of Devices Are Used In TRT?

The sound devices that are used during the tinnitus retraining therapy are similar to small hearing aids and are called sound generators.  These tiny instruments fit behind both ears and emit a low level frequency that takes the place of the ringing in the ears and alleviates discomfort.  The devices will not interfere with your normal conversations, including speaking on the telephone or in crowded rooms. The goal of this therapy is to mask the tinnitus and make it completely inaudible.

Studies conducted at the University of Maryland and Emory University’s Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centers have shown that patients with tinnitus have experienced an 80% success rate after having committed to the therapy sessions.

So does tinnitus retraining therapy really work?  Generally speaking, yes, so long as patients are willing to stay committed over the long-term.

Staying committed to the therapy sessions for the time your physician says is needed, and following up regularly with your doctor is the best way to ensure the process is given a chance to work.  Once you have met with your physician, they will be able to better diagnose if your tinnitus is simply related to the inner ear or an indication of a much more serious health issue.