Ear Infection Ringing In Ears
Throughout this blog numerous treatments for tinnitus have been discussed along with causes. In this post, I want to address important and effective therapeutic interventions to put you on the road to greater peace of mind.
Research has shown that there are a few key modalities for tinnitus reduction, and numerous others that work on occasion. Medication, masking, habituation, and hypnotherapy are among effective methods for treating tinnitus. Biofeedback and massage therapy have been shown to be helpful as well, though we will not discuss them in great detail here. Each of the most effective treatment modalities will now be discussed at some length.
Masking & Tinnitus Habituation Therapy
Most, but not all people who suffer from tinnitus gain benefit through masking and/or habituation.
Masking, a common method of dealing with tinnitus, is the "covering" of the noise that is in the head or ears with noise that is external to the head and ears.
Tinnitus Habituation Therapy is the process of adding broad band white noise in small increments to "re-train the auditory pathways," so that the sound of the tinnitus no longer creates a negative emotional response. Specifically, the tinnitus sufferer wears a "walkman" or specially made "white noise generators" every day, all the time. The noise produced by the external source creates a smaller distinction between a neutral stimulus and the tinnitus.
When I was traveling on my own road to peace, I wore a Walkman to bed and all day long, including
during my session time with clients. It was an inconvenience, but the process was effective in helping the habituation process. Many others have successfully utilized habituation.
Unfortunately, masking and habituation do not work with profoundly deaf people, nor with individuals who have severe hearing loss. These methods are very slow for people with severe hyperacusis. For those who do have most of their hearing, masking and habituation are interesting options.
One common method of masking is the use of a hearing aid/tinnitus masker. Essentially, a hearing aid is worn in the ear(s) that has tinnitus, and a new sound is generated by the masker to cover the tinnitus. In the habituation process the sound is not turned up to cover the sound, but is set just below the threshold of the tinnitus. This creates a "'new" sound for the brain to "find."
Tinnitus maskers that are worn as hearing aids are comfortable to wear, and the white noise is far more pleasant than that of the tinnitus. The drawback to tinnitus maskers is that you must wear them all of the time. Most tinnitus maskers cost about $700 to $1,500 per ear. Batteries will cost about $100, and must be replaced regularly.
Other types of tinnitus maskers are not worn, but are used by the bedside or in the office. Commonly, these are white noise generators that can mask or habituate the sound of the tinnitus as well. Some machines produce many tones, so that the user can select a band that covers her tinnitus. Other machines produce sounds that emulate rainfall, ocean waves, and other pleasant environmental sounds. These machines are inexpensive and remarkably valuable to the sufferer of tinnitus.
I used a personal stereo with headphones as a method of both habituating and masking my tinnitus for two reasons. First, the cost was minimal, and environmental and classical music audiocassettes were a superior option for me when contrasted to the static sound of white noise. Secondly, I believe that listening to sounds to which l already had a positive emotional response created speedier habituation that I might have attained with neutral or slightly negative static/white noise sounds.
Some people find that de-tuning their radio to a place in between FM stations, with static, is very helpful in masking tinnitus. Others select CDs that cover the tinnitus or help habituate it. Classical music and new age music have proven effective in using personal stereos for relief. I highly recommend the use of an "iPod"
The only time you should NOT be wearing an mp3 player is when there is plenty of ambient sound in the environment. I really see no logical reason to spend a lot of money on putting sound into your brain when an mp3 player is cheap and accomplishes this.
If you do not decide in favor of this therapeutic option, it is a very good idea to constantly have background noise "on" so that you experience less stress due to tinnitus, on a daily basis. Background noise makes the tinnitus less detectable in almost all clients I have worked with.
Some of my clients have followed in my footsteps and decided to wear and listen to their iPod all night with headphones. Having comfortable earphones or "dots" that actually fit into the ear is critical to sleeping with ease. To learn more about Tinnitus treatment, you can check out Ear Infection Ringing In Ears.
- Ear Infection And Ringing In The Ear – Noise and Negative Emotions
- Tinnitus From Ear Infection – Larry A Tinnitus Sufferer
- Tinnitus Audiology – Tinnitus Audiological Treatments
- High Pitch Ringing In Ears – Roles To Relief From Tinnitus
- Ringing In Right Ear Means – Changing How You Think About Tinnitus