Tinnitus Treatment Program
Physicians: Evidence-Based, Clinically-Validated Treatment for Tinnitus
The methods we practice have been clinically tested and proven to manage and significantly reduce the sufferer's disturbance, distress and attention to tinnitus in over 80 percent of cases. Common additional benefits include lessening of anxiety, reducing the need for medications to cope with tinnitus, improving patients' ability to relax at will and sleep, increasing the patient's locus of control over tinnitus, and enhancing concentration impaired by tinnitus intrusiveness. Often, we focus sufferers' attention away from the ringing to such an extent they may forget they have the problem.
Our Program Uses Evidence-Based, Clinically-Proven Protocols
The primary method we use for tinnitus is called Progressive Audiologic Tinnitus Management, which was developed by the Veterans Administration and is considered a "gold standard" of treatment. This, combined with validated protocols, such as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), Neuromonics, and Hyperacusis Retraining Therapy, reduce distress and awareness of tinnitus and sound sensitivity, as well as many of the physical and emotional discomforts you may be experiencing due to your condition. The objective is for the Tinnitus Audiologist to select the best combination of treatments based on clinically-validated medical evidence, and the unique needs, capacity and preferences of each individual patient.
Types of Treatment
- Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
- Hyperacusis Retraining Therapy (HRT)
- The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment
- Zen Hybrid Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
- Amplification- Masking & Partial Masking Therapy using hearing aids
- Progressive Audiologic Tinnitus Management (PATM)
- Informational and Directive Tinnitus Retraining Counseling
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Rehabilitation Assessment and Evidence-Based Treatment Planning
- Inter-disciplinary referral for coordinated care
Case Management Begins with Counseling
Approximately half of the tinnitus sufferers referred to us by physicians need nothing more than sufficient counseling to dispel their fears and concerns related to tinnitus. You can provide this step. However, most concerned tinnitus patients ask many questions and want detailed explanations. Typically, relieving patients' significant concerns enough for them to regain their confidence and to begin to successfully cope with tinnitus requires 60 to 90 minutes of in-depth counseling. Some patients' best benefit with a treatment demonstration of tinnitus devices. Once completing this consultation, those who decide they need nothing more take comfort in knowing there are treatments available should they grow tired of their malady or their condition worsens, as well as whom to call for help.Other patients will pursue a first phase of recommendations before returning to pursue Sound Therapy treatment.
What Sound Therapies Do Patients Require?
For those who require professionally managed treatment, we offer a combination of sound therapy options. In addition, some patients may benefit from psychological counseling or treatment for comorbid related conditions, such as sleeping disorders, anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress syndrome, all of which we screen for.
Professional intervention in these areas can also further reduce the magnitude of problems, and can accelerate progress in Sound Therapy, if pursued.
The process begins by conducting our Level-3 three-hour Tinnitus Rehabilitation Consultation to analyze thoroughly the patient's condition. We evaluate all aspects related to the symptoms and problems, including comorbid non-auditory conditions that may be aggravating tinnitus. Additionally, we determine the severity and significance of the patient's tinnitus and decreased sound tolerance to ascertain whether to select a light or more rigorous treatment plan. Those with a complicated condition may require multiple treatment steps and inter-disciplinary coordination. In such cases, the treatment "team" we coordinate may include an ENT, cognitive therapist, dentist, and sleep specialist, as well as the Tinnitus Audiologist, who acts as a primary tinnitus case manager. We handle each patient as a tinnitus rehabilitation case— never just a hearing aid case.
The Initial Phase of Tinnitus Treatment
The first phase of tinnitus counseling involves demystifying the inaccuracies of the patient's thoughts concerning tinnitus, which our Tinnitus Audiologist addresses and providing important information that needs to be known. Some patients, however, require additional support and, thus, may require the services of a cognitive psychologist. Such a practitioner is required should it appear that psychological forces are causing the patient to ruminate endlessly, triggering an extreme, abnormal stress reaction driven by fear, anxiety or depression. We can direct referrals to professionals for follow-up care.
Long-Term Tinnitus Treatment
Long-term treatments are based on Tinnitus, Hyperacusis or Misophonia Sound Therapies. In some cases of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis, certain types of hearing aids may be required to amplify environmental sounds to relieve perceptual straining to hear, as well as to eliminate sensory deprivation effects, which may cause tinnitus and hyperacusis to worsen. When appropriate, we use certain devices set in particular ways to mask or partially mask external sounds or the internal sounds of tinnitus. Use of inappropriate hearing aids, or those set insufficiently may provide no relief, and in some cases, may worsen the conditions.
There are five to seven tinnitus rehabilitation syndrome or symptom categories. Each has its own treatment protocols that should or should not be considered. We make a clinical determination as to which treatments are appropriate given the conditions and requirements the patient places on treatment. In addition, we consider the relationships among hearing loss, tinnitus, sound sensitivity, disposition of the patient, motivation, and willingness and determination to comply with the requirements of care. The latter includes any major psychological issue that acts as a driving force upon the patient's condition or response to treatment. Each syndrome and treatment has its own therapeutic timeline.