What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a process of learning to cope with your tinnitus (also known as ringing ears) on a conscious and subconscious level. This technique has helped a lot of people to get stress reductions and a better quality of life. If you think you might be suffering from tinnitus, you can learn more about tinnitus, by reading our guide to tinnitus.
This therapy can be compared to the sound of raindrops falling on a roof being noticed when it first starts raining, but going unnoticed and put out of mind after some time.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy requires close co-operation with hearing professionals. The therapy is employed at the perceived source of the tinnitus and aims to teach the brain to ignore it. Since the treatment needs to be accompanied by specialists, a pure tinnitus retraining therapy at home and by doing it yourself is normally not possible.
How does Tinnitus Retraining Therapy work?
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy can be used for different types of tinnitus (such as pulsatile tinnitus and others) and combines three significant therapeutic steps:
1. Extensive collection of information about the patient, including patient history and daily living habits.
2. Use of devices worn behind the ear and generating broad-band noise to divert attention of the patient away from the tinnitus.
3. Psychological therapy teaching the patient to ignore the tinnitus noise. This is combined with deep relaxation exercises and stress management. The goal is the elimination of the patient's anxiety, so that the tinnitus is no longer perceived as a danger, thus diverting concentration away from the tinnitus noise.
The end goal is complete habituation of the noise.
The duration of the treatment varies depending on the treatment facility involved.
Other kinds of tinnitus therapy
Sound therapy, behavioural therapy, group therapy and tinnitus counselling may ease the daily suffering of people with tinnitus. Some patients also use a so-called tinnitus masker to mask the sound of the tinnitus. Read more about other tinnitus coping strategies.
Read more about the connection between tinnitus and hearing loss.