Tinnitus might be a widespread condition, but most cases are treatable. Unlike diseases, tinnitus is not a medical condition on its own but rather a symptom of another disease, illness or trauma. And there are several types of medical and non-medical treatments out there. However, it is vital that you select the right types of treatment depending on what is causing tinnitus. 

Therefore, the first step towards living a tinnitus-free life is to visit your hearing instrument specialist (HIS). An HIS will conduct several tests, including hearing, movement, imaging and lab tests. This thorough examination aims at finding the precise underlying condition that needs addressing.

Once you and your specialist are clear on what is causing you to hear phantom noises, you will proceed to find the right type of treatment. Here are the most common treatments.

Hearing aids

Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss. Instead, one of the symptoms associated with hearing loss might be tinnitus. Indeed, both conditions can stem from a damaging action that has caused the hair cells inside the ear canal to decline and malfunction. Hearing loss can be noise-induced or age-related and caused by prolonged exposure to a noisy environment or a single, extremely loud noise. 

If your tinnitus stems from your hearing loss, investing in a hearing aid can help. Modern hearing aids boast several integrated functionalities that allow you to find the perfect settings for your needs. Their directional microphones and masking abilities allow you to focus on important external sounds while minimizing the prevalence of tinnitus. 

If you don’t have hearing loss, you can also consider using masking devices that will only address tinnitus. 

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)

Tinnitus retraining therapy is an alternative option to treat tinnitus that does not generally stem from hearing loss. Indeed, tinnitus might arise because of untreatable conditions or medications that you can’t do without. In these cases, TRT allows you to overcome the psychological and physical effects of tinnitus in a non-invasive way. 

Generally, TRT is delivered by a hearing specialist and a trained counselor. These professionals will help you train your brain to focus on important sounds rather than the tinnitus itself. Counseling is often associated with the use of sound machines. 

These programs take a constant effort to see results, but they are highly accessible – online and in-person – by anyone with tinnitus.

Sound machines

Severe tinnitus can become more noticeable and seem louder in quieter environments with little background noise. Generally, these include your bedroom at nighttime and your office – which means that the ringing in your ear can represent a significant obstacle when trying to fall asleep or concentrate. 

Sound machines are devices that produce white noise such as the one created by fans and air conditioners or natural relaxing sounds – such as waves or babbling brooks. 

Because of these noises, the tinnitus can become less evident and allow you to cut it out. 

Visit your hearing instrument specialist

Visiting your hearing instrument specialist should always be the first step towards finding the right treatment for tinnitus. Your HIS might perform all the necessary tests and recommend important dietary, environmental and lifestyle changes as well.