People suffering from this condition must often ask, can you cure tinnitus? Tinnitus is usually a symptom of an underlying condition that you may be suffering from. If you go to a doctor when suffering from tinnitus, they will initially diagnose you for another cause that may be leading to diagnosis. In some cases, the doctor cannot find another cause for your problem, and this allows for medical examination.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptomatic expression that causes you to hear a ringing or whistling sound without the existence of external sounds. The frequency, loudness, and type of sound varies from person to person. Some experience a hissing sound, while others may also experience a clicking sound. The most commonly reported tinnitus sound is the ringing sound.
Causes and Treatment
Depending on whether you are aware of the underlying cause that is causing your tinnitus, the doctor will treat it differently. If the doctor manages to treat the underlying condition, then the symptomatic tinnitus is likely to get better.
In some instances, an added wax buildup in the ear causes the occurrence of tinnitus. Therefore, earwax removal is the simplest and appropriate treatment for your tinnitus. Alternatively, if a more serious problem is causing the tinnitus such as a blood vessel issue, then the treatment could either be medication or surgery.
It is important to note that the severity of the underlying condition determines the intensity of the tinnitus to a great extent. Your tinnitus may be more frequent and louder if you previously existing, and inherited issues with your ear. Additionally, tinnitus is also common amongst older people with hearing loss.
Can You Cure Tinnitus?
Your auditory system is one of the main reasons behind tinnitus. This involves the inner ear, outer ear, and the nerves that transmit signals between the ears and brain. People that suffer from tinnitus have faulty mechanisms in the auditory parts of the brain.
Thus, depending on the networking of the electric signals in the brain, the tinnitus you experience can either be persistent and loud, or subtle and low. In most cases, tinnitus is a rare occurrence. While to some people, it seriously disrupts their quality of life.
Since tinnitus is not in itself a condition, there is no cure for the symptom. However, you can find methods that can help reduce the intensity of the condition and make it bearable. Methods take shape in the form of medication, remedial techniques, and more importantly therapy.
As a person suffering from tinnitus, you can use many therapeutic measures to alleviate the pain. While there is no promise of a cure, there are therapies in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and some remedial measures that could improve your quality of life and help you deal with tinnitus.
Common Treatments of Tinnitus
Health practitioners will recommend plenty of techniques and options to mask the annoying sounds tinnitus patients hear. This is mainly because there isn’t any proven way to stop the sounds. So, resorting to sound therapy remains the alternative option for now.
TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy)
In this therapy, professionals use cognitive solutions, such as sound therapy and counseling to “retrain” the brain, or the patient to have a different reaction, perception, and understanding of the sound. Unlike a medical cure, this therapy leans towards psychological solutions, and it largely works because of the subconscious nature of tinnitus.
The idea behind TRT is to heal the person on the subconscious level since there are no effective options that will heal them physiologically. The brain has a natural ability to “habituate” or become familiar with a sound and ignore it, subconsciously classifying it as “white noise” or background sounds.
Thus, with proper counseling in the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, a patient can ultimately achieve a different perception of the dreaded sound and learn to avoid it. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are the two main methods that comprise TRT.
CBT is a form of in-person counseling in which the therapist aims for the patient to discover the root and depth of their problems. With enough counseling and insight, it is very much possible for the person to look past the drastic sounds and not lose focus.
Sound exposure therapy also helps in this regard. In this, the patient exposes themselves to the tinnitus sounds more frequently with the help of an external source. The goal of this therapy is to desensitize the individual to drastic sounds.
With enough exposure to sounds, patients are likely to have a better response to sounds when they encounter an episode of tinnitus. There is plenty of evidence that supports the efficacy of these methods, and most of them have changed the lives of many suffering from this condition.
Can You Cure Tinnitus? Conclusion
Tinnitus is a tough condition to diagnose and treat, which is why it’s generally best to consult with a specialist. Stephen Katz LCSW is a tinnitus specialist in New York, with years of experience in dealing with tinnitus patients.
Call today to schedule a convenient online session, accessible from anywhere in the world. Dr. Katz speaks 5 languages and has dedicated much of his life to helping people diagnose & treat tinnitus and other sound disorders.
Visit our website for more information.