Western Hearing Services

Frequently Asked Questions

What is tinnitus?
How do you treat tinnitus?
What does retraining therapy mean?
Are there any side effects of treatment?
I recently had audiological tests done. Do they have to be repeated?
Is the counselling a form of psychotherapy or biofeedback?
What is the role of external sound?
What are the devices and what do they look like?
Can I just buy the devices?
I am using hearing aids; how can I use other devices?


What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus - is the perception of a noise in the ears or head; frequently described as ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing etc.

How do you treat tinnitus?

Our treatment is called Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, but other names such a habituation oriented therapy, tinnitus treatment based on neurophysiological model, and "Dr Jastreboff's treatment" are used as well. It involves an extensive audiological evaluation, several counselling sessions, the use of external sound, and frequently the use of sound devices. It does not involve any surgery or drugs.

What does retraining therapy mean?

We try to retrain the subconscious parts of the brain to ignore the sound of your tinnitus and to achieve the state in which you are not aware of and/or annoyed by your tinnitus.

Are there any side effects of treatment?

There are no side effects. What kind of audiological tests are performed? Will it hurt my ears? What if I don't have tinnitus when I am tested? The tests include an audiogram and several specific tests which will allow us to evaluate whether you have tinnitus and/or hyperacusis, and to what degree. The tests begin with low levels of sound and gradually get louder, therefore, none of the tests will be painful. If your tinnitus is not present on the day of the testing, it will NOT influence the possibility of success with the treatment.

I recently had audiological tests done. Do they have to be repeated?

We prefer to have the tests performed in our centre. There are very specific measurements we perform which are not routinely provided in other clinics.

Is the counselling a form of psychotherapy or biofeedback?

No, the counselling will provide you with information about the causes and factors involved in your tinnitus/hyperacusis, explain to you how the retraining therapy works, and teach you how to control your tinnitus. The counselling session is a fundamental part of the treatment process.

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