Ringing In The Ear Treatment
We have yet to see a documented case wherein a client improved dramatically after one session of hypnotherapy of psychotherapy. Generally speaking, 15 hours or more of therapy are necessary. It takes some time to get those big eight-lane highways in the brain to atrophy into dirt roads that rarely traveled. That, by the way, is the goal of tinnitus therapy. The objective and focus of the therapist should always be to:
(a) desensitize the client to the sound of tinnitus; and
(b) teach the client how to focus on other experiences in life – past, present, or future – that do not have "tinnitus on the highway."
The good news is that most cases of tinnitus, regardless of cause, improve with time, therapy, and plenty of successfully completed homework. The bad news is that there are not a lot of therapists out there who understand how to work with people suffering from tinnitus.
More Good News: Approaches That Work
- Clients continue to respond favorably to medications such as Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, and Paxil (antidepressants).
- Clients also tend to respond as well or better to Xanax and Ativan (anti-anxiety medications).
- Clients have also reported positive results with Neurontin and Klonopin (anti-convulsants).
The number of medications that help tinnitus sufferers reduce volume and suffering is so great that it is a shame that the FDA (to my knowledge) still has not approved medications for tinnitus sufferers.
A medication that reduces the fear response helps extinguish the fear response to tinnitus, and thus, the amount of attention paid to tinnitus (thereby shrinking the 8-lane highway into 6 or 4 or fewer lanes). Long-term use of anti-anxiety medication is probably warranted for most severe cases. The resultant fewer suicides and long-term positive change likely supersede the minor side effects and remote possibilities of addiction to these medications.
Those medications that reduce depression, obsession, and compulsive behaviors will also continue to help those suffering with tinnitus. The SSRIs tend to most effective, in my experience, but other medications certainly can help as well.
Many people complain that their tinnitus is exacerbated by pressure on their forehead, different head positions, and teeth clenching. When I hear this, I immediately refer the person to an osteopath (D.O., or Doctor of Osteopathy).
For some reason, osteopathic treatment, lntracranial Sacral Therapy, seems to be effective in helping a majority of my clients who report these exacerbating elements. I can't explain all of the reasons why, though I do have hypotheses. The human body generally responds well to touch and feelings of connectedness. Perhaps there is some of this mind body response in the client's experience. Perhaps the human body can become so stressed and distressed that it changes brain chemistry. Perhaps the sphenomandibular ligament that connects the area of the ear drum to the jaw is causing some kind of pressure in the ear, like plucking a guitar string.
One client named John was planning to come to Minnesota to work with me. I sent him to a local D.O. and he never needed to keep his appointment with me. Regular treatments by his osteopath were all he needed for elimination of tinnitus. I've had similar situations with clients with whom I did a telephone consultation and suggested other treatments such as Prozac, Zolofi, and Xanax.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is a fancy phrase for auditory habituation. I've talked with many people who have improved by using sound generators. I've spoken with many others who couldn't stand to have the little noise makers in their ears. What I have found nearly universal in acceptance by clients is listening to classical music, environmental sounds, and new age music that both soothes and creates a secondary sound source for attention. Auditory habituation is a must for tinnitus remission and recovery.
I strongly suggest that all of my clients play music in the background all do long or, at least, keep a television on. Anything that provides about 50 decibels of sound will do the trick. People with severe hyperacusis will need to start at 40 decibels and work their way up, over time, to 50 decibels.
These Usually Don't Help
As time has gone by I have seen fewer cases of people improving from any kind of tinnitus sound with ginkgo. For a while I thought gingko might be a significant part of the therapeutic regime for most clients. Today, I suggest that clients talk to their medical doctors about ginkgo, but I can't recommend it evangelically, as I did five years ago.
I've also seen very few cases of people improving with homeopathic remedies and acupuncture. None of the bogus drops and mail order "medications" showed any improvement that I could find.
Changes in diet have rarely seemed to help tinnitus sufferers, in my experience, nor have herbal potions and remedies. SAVE YOUR MONEY. To learn more about Tinnitus Therapy, you can check out Ringing In The Ear Treatment.