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Treatment of Tinnitus

Transcript

Dr. Wallace

The most effective treatment for tinnitus is eliminating the underlying cause. In many cases, the cause of tinnitus is unknown or cannot be treated medically or surgically. In these cases, the tinnitus symptoms alone may be the target of treatment. There’s no cure for tinnitus; however, there are a number of treatment options available, either individually or in combination.

Most tinnitus patients with hearing loss experience total or partial tinnitus relief while wearing hearing aids. There are many variables that determine success.

Progressive tinnitus management is a multi-faceted treatment regimen. It involves five levels of care, with each patient receiving an individualized course of care and condition management.

Sound therapy, or sound masking, uses sound to decrease the loudness or prominence of tinnitus. Devices can be wearable, similar to a hearing aid, or non-wearable, such as tabletop sound machines or whirring fans. Often, sound is used to completely or partially cover the tinnitus.

Cochlear implants are used in rare circumstances where tinnitus is associated with profound hearing loss. Tinnitus may be masked by the ambient sounds that these devices bring, or it may be suppressed by the electrical stimulation sent through the auditory nerve by the implant.

When tinnitus is a symptom of a jaw joint dysfunction, such as TMJ syndrome, dental treatment or bite realignment may help relieve related pain and associated tinnitus. Muscles and nerves in the jaw are closely connected to those in the ear and can interfere with the ear’s nerves.

Cognitive therapy is a type of counseling that is based on treating a patient’s emotional reaction to tinnitus and improving their ability to cope with it. Counseling programs are individually designed for patients and are most effective when coupled with other tinnitus treatments, such as masking.

Be sure to check with your local TRICARE or VA office to determine eligibility for all treatment options.

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