Western Hearing Services

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

The treatment we use is called TRT. This treatment can be credited to the work of its originators Drs Jastreboff and Hazel who established it worldwide with the first clinical trials in 1990. It is now the treatment that has been most successful in over 30 countries around the world.

TRT 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.

Unfortunately, in the past a common response to a complaint of tinnitus was “nothing can be done” or “you’ll have to learn to live with it”. However, presently there is an exciting new treatment for tinnitus called Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). Dr Pawel Jastreboff (from the United States) developed TRT based on over 10 years of tinnitus research.

The goal of TRT is that the patient will habituate to the tinnitus sound. We habituate to sound everyday, for example, we do not hear the sound of our refrigerator motor whilst watching television, that is we can effectively “tune out” to it. Therefore, patients who have undergone successful treatment with TRT often report that they can only hear their tinnitus if they concentrate on hearing it, and if they do hear their tinnitus they are not bothered by it. The tinnitus is then treated as a “neutral” signal.

Habituation will occur with two conditions:
* Removal of negative associations of the tinnitus using education and
* Counseling and avoiding silence via low-level “neutral” sounds.

There are a number of ways an individual can avoid silence.

  1. Enhancing the environmental sounds around the tinnitus patient, for example: leaving a television or radio on in the background, or listening to relaxation tapes.

  2. If the tinnitus is also associated with a hearing loss, then hearing aids have proved to be very useful in allowing the patient to habituate to the tinnitus and improve their hearing significantly. Hearing aid technology has continued to improve in recent years, the most exciting step forward has been the development of digital hearing aids. Digital hearing aids are the most effective devices in helping people who have trouble hearing in crowds, background noises and meeting situations.

  3. Custom made “noise generators” present a low-level noise which presents a competing noise for the brain to listen to other than solely concentrating on the tinnitus.

The developers of TRT do not maintain that TRT is the only treatment available for tinnitus patients. However, worldwide results suggesting an improvement in 80% of cases suggest that it is working exceedingly well.

If you would like any further information
on tinnitus, tinnitus retraining therapy, or hearing loss
contact Western Hearing Services & Tinnitus Management
on 1800 622 121

 

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