Contact us for all hearing related services in Southern Colorado including hearing aids, implants and tinnitus related solutions at (719) 633-1494.
At Hearing Consultants we are skilled in the evaluation and treatment of tinnitus, using the most effective and researched method created by Pawel Jastreboff, Ph.D known as, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). This habituation therapy is based upon the Neurophysiological Model of Tinnitus which was originally proposed by Dr. Jastreboff in 1990. For almost 30 years, this model continues to remain unchallenged as the go to method in tinnitus treatment. If you or someone you know suffers from tinnitus, we urge you to contact our clinic today to schedule your evaluation.
What is Tinnitus?
TINNITUS (RINGING IN THE EARS)
Tinnitus is a phantom auditory perception. Some of the more common sounds reported are ringing, humming, buzzing, hissing, and cricket/bug-like. It can be constant, intermittent, or fluctuating and can be heard in one ear, both ears or in the head.
The Most Common Causes
- Noise exposure (e.g. from shooting or machines at work)
- Hearing loss
- Aging process
- Head injury (e.g. from a car accident or fall)
Many causes are unknown.
Tinnitus is usually accompanied by hearing loss and is sometimes accompanied by hyperacusis (when physical discomfort is experience by the patient when a loud sound occurs that would not evoke the same response in an average normal hearing listener) and/or misophonia (decreased tolerance to very specific sounds such as chewing, clicking, or sniffing). 94% of the population will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives, while 20% of that population will seek medical treatment for their tinnitus.
Impact of Tinnitus
Tinnitus affects people differently. The most common areas in which tinnitus has a direct influence are:
- Hearing. In some, the sound of the tinnitus competes with or masks speech or environmental sound perception.
- Sleep. Many tinnitus sufferers report that their tinnitus interferes with them getting to sleep. It can also make it more difficult to get back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night.
- Concentration. Some tinnitus sufferers report that they have difficulty focusing on a task because of their tinnitus. This might include reading a book or the newspaper or focusing on tasks at work.
- Thoughts and emotions. Some are annoyed, bothered, depressed, anxious or angry about their tinnitus. They think about and focus on their tinnitus throughout the day.
Treatment of Tinnitus
At Hearing Consultants, we utilize a two-part management program that helps successfully treat people with tinnitus. This method, known as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, is highly effective in helping you to habituate your reaction to tinnitus. Treatment plans are typically 9-18 months and outcomes are highly effective.
- Counseling. Will help you better understand your tinnitus, as we explain why it is happening and how your specialized treatment plan will help you with your Tinnitus.
- Sound Therapy. In addition to counseling, we will utilize a sound enriched environment as part of treatment. Proper sound enrichment is critical to the success of the program and can be implemented with both ear level devices as well as tabletop sound generators. We work with each patient to set the sound enrichment within their environments.
The key features of TRT are:
- It is suitable for all types of tinnitus irrespective of the cause.
- It requires a certain treatment period and is not a “quick-fix”.
- It does not require frequent visits and the treatment process easily accommodates out-of-town individuals.
- There are no harmful side-effects.
- There is no surgery or drugs involved in this treatment.
Many patients have been told there is nothing that can be done to help with their tinnitus. At Hearing Consultants, we feel very differently, and haven’t met a patient we can’t help.
Decreased Sound Tolerance
At Hearing Consultants, we have been successfully using principles of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) to desensitize the auditory system. In addition to successfully treating tinnitus, we use TRT to treat both hyperacusis and misophonia, which are categorized as Decreased Sound Tolerance (DST) issues. Hyperacusis and misophonia can be found in isolation or they can accompany the tinnitus. This assessment will be made at your initial interview, so that we can properly treat any sound related issue you might have.
Although both involve a decreased acceptance of sounds, misophonia is distinct from hyperacusis. Where misophonia involves a negative reaction to particular sounds, hyperacusis involves a negative reaction to sound due to particular characteristics. Someone who experiences hyperacusis may be sensitive to sounds of a certain volume, type, or intensity.
DST treatment takes the form of controlled and customized sound enrichment throughout the day and night. As reactions to sound lessen you will gradually feel more comfortable and eventually neutral to previously adverse sounds.
We treat individuals of all ages with DST. There are no side effects to the treatment and all our patients are closely monitored.
If you suffer from Tinnitus, hyperacusis, and/or misophonia, contact Hearing Consultants today. Our expert audiologists can help you identify the best options for treatment. To learn more about us, please browse our website, or give us a call (719) 633-1494. We look forward to hearing from you!