When you come to our clinic for help with your tinnitus, you will first see an Otologist or Otolaryngologist to rule out any medically treatable cause. If there is a hearing loss, we will recommend amplification to not only improve hearing and understanding of speech, but to also reduce the awareness of bothersome tinnitus by giving the brain ambient noise and environmental sounds to hear rather than the ringing.
How to Manage Your Tinnitus
At Nashville ENT, we see many patients with tinnitus and we have learned that the degree of annoyance and even disability varies greatly between patients who have similar hearing loss, auditory history and ear diseases. The path to helping patients with tinnitus is to medically manage any ear disease or physical cause for the condition and then to give the patient ways to manage the tinnitus so that there is less attention and annoyance to the tinnitus. Nashville ENT uses a management plan that is individualized for each patient.
Below are options that we have for management of tinnitus:
1. How to Manage Your Tinnitus: A Step-by-Step Workbook. This workbook gives education about tinnitus and walks you through management strategies for tinnitus in the areas of your life that is affected most by your tinnitus. It has worksheets for activities to help you identify sounds for relief as well as information on how to relax and provide sound to reduce your tinnitus. It also mentions other sound therapies that we do provide such as hearing aids, Sound Pillow for sleep aid, maskers, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, and Neuromonics.
2. Hearing Aids. Hearing aids can help many of our patients with both hearing loss and tinnitus. Hearing aids provide you with more environmental and soft sounds to help you hear more sounds to compete with the tinnitus. Improving your hearing will reduce stress of communication difficulties and the increased awareness of the tinnitus that can occur.
3. Sound Pillow. The Sound Pillow has speakers inside the pillow and a cable to allow you to connect soothing sound from CD player, radio, sound machines, etc. directly to your ears as you sleep. This is a good aid if tinnitus is hindering sleep and sound hinders your sleep partner.
4. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). TRT uses much of the information you will use in the How to Manage Your Tinnitus Workbook but it also uses noise generators for your ears. Your audiologist will help you set the noise at levels that is below the tinnitus and your brain, over time, will learn to ignore the tinnitus.
5. Tinnitus Devices. There are various devices that our patients can choose to use for tinnitus management.
Widex hearing aids provide amplification plus the Zen program inspired by the relaxing effect of certain types of music. Zen is also available without amplification through the newer ZEN2GO. ZEN2GO plays random, soothing harmonic tones called ZEN. The devices are placed in the ear and the harmonic tones help you relax and reduce stress- both with help with tinnitus. For more information, www.widex.com
Serenade is a sound therapy system for the relief of tinnitus. The Serenade is a handheld device with earphones and proprietary treatment sounds that research has suggested may address the underlying neurological cause of tinnitus. The technology is simple to use and sound is customized specifically to your tinnitus. The Serenade is used to seek immediate tinnitus relief and long term benefits when used as part of our tinnitus management program. For more information, www.soundcure.com
Our Recommendation is that all patients begin Tinnitus Management with #1, “How to Manage Your Tinnitus” workbook. Following the plan in the workbook will often provide patients with adequate tinnitus management. If, after completing the workbook, you feel that you would like to pursue the other options, please call the audiology department at 615-292-5191. Please note that the workbook cannot be returned and the purchase cannot be filed to insurance.