All About Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a type of treatment suitable for people who suffer from tinnitus. It is a new type of treatment, that is based strongly on counseling. Essentially, the counseling is designed to stop patients from responding negatively to the tinnitus sound. Ultimately, the intention is for patients to no longer perceive the sound at all. Usually, a process known as sound enrichment will also be used. Indeed, these methods have been proven to be effective, providing neutral signals in the ear. In order to create background noise, therapists will use a noise generator. No negative side effects are experienced with this type of therapy, which is one of its main benefits. Once initial treatment has been completed, patients only have to return around twice a year for a checkup. This means that there are also few associated expenses. It is possible to see a 100% improvement if TRT is combined with other treatments like hearing aids.

It is always beneficial to have a basic understanding of the science behind this type of treatment if you want to try out TRT. The two main pieces of scientific evidence behind TRT are the Jastreboff model and the Heller and Bergman experiment. These are the models that have demonstrated that counseling and sound therapy together are the best form of treatment. Naturally, professionals have to undertake a level of specific training in order to truly understand these theories. It is also for this reason that not everybody is able to deliver TRT yet, although it is a growing area of work that is generating increasing amounts of interest.

Tinnitus is a very complicated condition. Sufferers of tinnitus have some form of abnormal neural activity. Specifically, it is caused by damage of hair cells, both inner and outer. Interestingly, having tinnitus does not mean suffering from tinnitus. Indeed, people can live with it all their lives without ever knowing it. Unfortunately, those who do suffer from it have to deal with various awful symptoms. Indeed, most sufferers will experience concentration problems, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, annoyance and anxiety. It is interesting to see that what is essentially an auditory problem leads to so many psychological problems. This is one of the main reasons for the enormous interest in TRT. After all, if the symptoms are psychological, shouldn’t the treatment be psychological as well? Naturally, further research does still need to be conducted into how effective TRT actually is, which is currently being done, but it seems clear that the benefits observed by the various patients who have tried it are very promising indeed.

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