What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?

childs ear is being examined using hearing instrument

If you are one of the millions of people who experience tinnitus, you know how disruptive and frustrating the condition can be. Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing or humming noise that is heard in the ears, and it can be challenging to concentrate or sleep when you have it. Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a treatment option that may help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. In this article, we will discuss what TRT is, how it works and whether or not it is a good option for you.

What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?

TRT is a type of therapy that is designed to help people with tinnitus learn to habituate to the noise. Habituation means that you get used to the sound, and it no longer bothers you. TRT involves a combination of counseling and sound therapy. The goal of TRT is to help you manage your tinnitus so that it does not interfere with your life.

How Does TRT Work?

The exact way that TRT works is still being studied, but researchers believe that it works by helping the brain ignore or tune out the ringing in the ears. TRT also helps reduce stress and anxiety, which can make the tinnitus worse. TRT uses two forms of sound therapy: low-level background noise and counseling.

Low-level background noise, also known as masking, helps to cover up the ringing sound so that it becomes less noticeable. Counseling helps patients learn how to cope with their tinnitus and make lifestyle changes that can reduce its impact on their life.

Is TRT Right for Me?

TRT is a good option for many people with tinnitus, but it is not suitable for everyone. If you have other health conditions or if you are pregnant, TRT may not be the best choice for you. It is essential to talk to your audiologist before starting TRT to make sure that it is the right treatment for you.

How Long will it take? 

If you are interested in trying TRT, your audiologist can refer you to a therapist who specializes in this type of therapy. The therapist will work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your needs. TRT usually involves meeting with the therapist once or twice a week for several months.

During these sessions, you will learn about how to manage your tinnitus and you will be given sound therapy. The therapy usually lasts for 12-24 months, and you may continue to see improvement in your tinnitus symptoms after completing the program. However, TRT is most effective when it is started as soon as possible after you are diagnosed with chronic tinnitus. 

TRT can help lessen the ringing sound so that it becomes less bothersome and eventually goes away. The therapy can be an effective treatment for many people with tinnitus, but it is essential to remember that it does not work for everyone. If you are considering TRT, talk to your audiologist to see if it is the right treatment option for you.