Sounds are used to cover up, or mask, the tinnitus. This distracts your brain and helps you “tune out” the ringing in your ears. Electronic devices that produce white noise such as air conditioners, fans, soft music, etc., can all be employed.
Similar in concept to acoustic therapy, tinnitus retraining therapy utilizes a portable sound generator that produces soft patterned tones to help desensitize the brain to the sounds of tinnitus.
Meniere’s disease (also known as endolympatic hydrops) has a triad of symptoms (hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo) that fluctuate due to increased fluid pressures in the ear organs.
If you have an acoustic neuroma and suffer from tinnitus, the tinnitus may be resolved through a surgical removal of the acoustic neuroma. However, for a number of people, this surgery can make the tinnitus worse. If you develop this condition, your physician will discuss all of your options.
Hearing loss causes maladaptive neuroplastic changes in the brain. Hearing aids are used to stimulate the auditory pathways received by the brain. Background sounds can mask tinnitus. Hearing aids can also help the patient better distinguish one sound from another, improving communication and helping with focus and concentration difficulties. Many devices also come packaged with noise generators to replace ambient sounds if amplification alone does not reduce tinnitus.
Counseling, sleep and cognitive behavioral or relaxation methods can be practical in helping you manage your tinnitus symptoms by reducing the stress, anxiety and sleeplessness that are often associated with tinnitus.
There is no definitive empirical research indicating that certain medications or supplements will treat tinnitus successfully. In fact, some supplements contain ingredients that can make your tinnitus worse. However, in cases where the tinnitus causes disruption to life activities, a physician may prescribe medication to treat any anxiety, sleeping disorders, or depression related to the tinnitus.