Tinnitus is commonly described as a ringing or buzzing heard in one's ear, ears or head. While approximately 17 percent of the U.S. population (about 44 million people) experience tinnitus, some people are bothered by the tinnitus and some are not.
About 20 million people (8 percent of the population) are bothered by tinnitus and 2 ½ million people are significantly affected by it.
Hyperacusis is an abnormal sensitivity to sound, which can result in physical discomfort due to sound exposure. People who experience hyperacusis may have normal hearing or they may have hearing impairment. It is not uncommon for tinnitus and hyperacusis to exist together, however both can occur separately.
Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital offers Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) to treat people whose tinnitus has had a negative impact of their life. TRT is based on the neurophysiological model of tinnitus and was developed by Pawel K. Jastreboff. The goal of TRT is to reduce the response to the ringing or buzzing with the ultimate outcome of removing the negative impact that tinnitus has on a person's life.
The two primary components of TRT are:
Although TRT can take 18-24 months to effectively treat tinnitus, many people complete treatment in 9-12 months with improvement noted earlier.
When TRT is being considered, the first two steps include:
Once these two steps are completed, our staff completes a comprehensive interview and history with tinnitus and hyperacusis testing.
Sound therapy is discussed and is generally an integral part of therapy. Multiple counseling appointments are usually scheduled during the first six months with additional counseling sessions and evaluations completed every six months until the program has been completed.
Although the use of sound generators or hearing aids is generally recommend, device use is dependent on the patients needs.
The Hearing Center at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital is staffed by highly qualified New York State-licensed audiologists. TRT is provided by an audiologist who specializes in this field.
If you would like more information on TRT and the services provided by The Hearing Center, we would be happy to send you an informational packet. Please call us at (518) 382-4550.