Tinnitus Treatment

What is your approach to tinnitus treatment?

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is most effective when guided by an audiologist who is extensively trained and experienced working specifically with tinnitus patients. Our approach to tinnitus treatment centers around creating a personalized TRT plan for each individual.

What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?

TRT is a rehabilitative process using a whole system approach to treat both the source and symptoms of tinnitus.

Tinnitus can be terrible. It can sound like anything including a constant field of crickets, a snake hissing, or bees buzzing. Tinnitus can disrupt your mood, thoughts, feelings, work, social life, and overall quality of life. Even more frustrating is trying to find a doctor – otolaryngologist (ENT), audiologist, psychologist – to treat tinnitus. Most practitioners will tell you to “just live with it” while many audiologists will only treat hearing loss. Thankfully, your frustration ends here.

Taking the first step

The first and most important step to tinnitus relief is finding the right audiologist. Your doctor needs extensive training in tinnitus treatment and vast experience working with tinnitus patients. Without specialized training and real-world experience, a practitioner will not be able to provide their patient with a successful outcome. Our audiologists are tinnitus experts and regularly review patient cases together to maximize patient outcomes. They also have the experience of helping hundreds of patients achieve relief from their tinnitus symptoms each year.

The most effective approach to stop the vicious cycle of tinnitus is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy or TRT. The overall approach of TRT is often misunderstood – even by many medical professionals. When customized and implemented properly to an individual’s needs, it is a highly successful tinnitus treatment.

More specifically, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy uses sound therapy and directive counseling over 12 – 24 months to properly deal with the three systems involved: the auditory system (hearing), the limbic system (emotions), and the autonomic nervous system (flight or fight response). Over many years of helping tinnitus sufferers, we have developed and refined our treatment protocols, evaluated countless new tinnitus treatment options and technology offerings, and invested in our people and equipment to provide the best outcomes in the industry. We have been able to provide life-changing results for thousands of tinnitus patients, and we are confident we can help you too.

Tinnitus Treatment at Sound Relief

Sound Relief helps more tinnitus patients find relief with TRT than any other practice in the United States. How can we offer hope when so many claim there is no effective treatment for chronic tinnitus? It’s because we have the technology, experience, and compassion needed to reduce the impact of tinnitus on your life successfully. We believe in a multi-disciplinary approach for complex cases, such as involving experienced psychologists when needed to provide Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Other cases may require working with a patient’s primary care physician to rule out the involvement of other medical conditions and prescriptions, such as drugs for high blood pressure and antidepressants.

Unparalleled Expertise in Tinnitus Treatment

Dr. Julie Prutsman’s team of audiologists offers the highest standard of care. Dr. Julie has immersed herself in the study, understanding, and treatment of tinnitus for more than 15 years, long before effective FDA tinnitus treatments had been developed beyond hearing aids and masking devices. She studied under the industry’s most respected and leading tinnitus expert, Dr. Pawel Jastreboff.

Dr. Jastreboff, Ph.D., Sc.D. developed the renowned Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) protocol. Julie had the privilege of studying under him in 2002 and today is a proud member of the TRT Association, whose 50 members in the United States have been personally trained by Dr. Jasterboff and his associates. With this neurophysiological background, Dr. Julie is continually seeking and analyzing the latest tinnitus technologies to help you find the long-term solution that’s right for you. Today, she spends the majority of her time overseeing and reviewing cases with her team of doctors, all of whom she personally recruited, hired, and trained. We strive to deliver exceptional care without exception.

Evidence-Based Results

Almost every otolaryngologist, audiology practice, and hearing aid dispenser that claims to offer relief from tinnitus typically offers only one solution: hearing aids. While amplification may help some, only 50% of tinnitus sufferers will benefit from hearing correction alone. Recently in one of our Google reviews, a patient who had visited several other audiologists commented, “It was so refreshing to hear her (Dr. Leah Mitchell) address the tinnitus issue as a primary concern, not my hearing loss.” At Sound Relief, we promise to focus on your tinnitus, your medical history as it relates to your tinnitus, the cause of your tinnitus, and offer evidence-based solutions like Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.

Experience Matters with Tinnitus Treatment

Technology alone does not ensure a successful outcome. The best success comes from quality technology that is prescriptively fit by skilled practitioners. The team at Sound Relief has extensive training and experience to anticipate obsticales and find solutions. We are confident we can use high-quality technology and our expertise to help you find the relief you deserve.

Tinnitus Sound Generators (TSGs) are necessary to provide the brain and auditory cortex with a soothing distraction away from tinnitus. To be effective, TSGs must be ear-level, stable, dynamic, and prescriptive. Patients with normal hearing and tinnitus, do not need an active microphone to change the perception of tinnitus.

Patients with tinnitus and mild hearing loss will require hybrid hearing aids or combination instruments. The combination instruments have a digital amplification system and a prescriptive sound generator that is programmed together to optimize tinnitus relief. Microphones in these systems bring in soft environmental sounds while also producing a soothing sound therapy signal to promote habituation.

Tinnitus Sound Generators and Combination Instruments are selected for each patient based on medical history, lifestyle, hearing, and tinnitus requirements.

Lyric Extended Wear Hearing Aids

Can 24/7 amplification provide relief from tinnitus symptoms? Yes. Depending on your perception of tinnitus, Lyric may help improve sleep quality and reduce tinnitus annoyance faster than daily wear devices that are removed at night. These semi-implantable medical devices are FDA-approved and fit deep in the ear canal to direct sound into the ear canal naturally.

Daily Wear Hearing Aids

Many people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing aids provide a dual benefit. These devices enhance your awareness to everyday sounds allowing you to discern soft sounds more clearly. This allows environmental sound to blend with tinnitus and reduce your overall awareness to tinnitus. Often people receive partial or complete relief with the use of hearing aids.

Technology We Do Not Use

We have evaluated every tinnitus treatment option that has earned FDA approval. The following are manufacturers that we have chosen not to use or discontinue use for new patients for various reasons. (We continue to support patients who use these products.)

  • Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment
  • Levo System by Otoharmonics
  • General Hearing Instruments
  • SoundCure
  • Neosensory
  • Desyncra
  • Lenire

Additional Tinnitus Treatment Options

Tinnitus Treatment Counseling

People living with tinnitus may experience anxiety, depression, and other psychiatric problems. As a result, along with our Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, we refer patients to psychiatrists or counselors as needed.

Tinnitus Treatment Medication

Some people develop anxiety, depression, or other strong emotional responses to their tinnitus. Certain medications can provide relief from these symptoms. Nutritional supplements can also relieve associated symptoms such as lack of sleep. Our audiologists work with patients’ physicians to make sure the medications they need are working towards your goal of finding relief.

Tinnitus Relaxation Techniques

Stress can worsen the effects of tinnitus. Learning how to relax can be very helpful if you experience frustration or anxiety from the noise in your ears. Relaxation allows the nervous system the opportunity to rest and reset. Your audiologist can review relaxation techniques that have helped other patients with similar experiences. Some may benefit from yoga, acupuncture, biofeedback, and/or tinnitus support groups.

Oticon Tinnitus SoundSupport™

Oticon Tinnitus SoundSupport works by introducing a dynamic, soothing sound that will mix with and distract you from bothersome tinnitus. This aids in developing a sense of control over the condition, which is vital to long-term success. The flexible program includes a variety of relief sounds that can ease the effects of tinnitus. Your audiologist can personalize the sounds to your needs and preferences, and they can be used alongside Tinnitus Retraining Therapy for instruction and support.

Widex “The Zen Program”

Widex employs fractal tone technology so that the sounds you hear are predictable but not repeating. Your audiologist can choose between an assortment of “Zen styles,” which are soothing and musical. Your audiologist can adjust the tones’ pitch, tempo, and volume. When used correctly, Widex Zen Therapy promotes cortical organization (brain “re-wiring”) to make tinnitus less noticeable.

ReSound Smart 3D App

The ReSound Relief App is designed to help alleviate tinnitus symptoms by providing soothing background sounds that divert your attention from the persistent ringing or humming in your ears. You can use pre-set soundscapes or import your favorite music, blending it with calming sounds such as pink noise or ocean waves. The app allows for further customization of these soundscapes to meet your specific needs, and it is best used in consultation with your audiologist.

What Can I Do to Help Myself?

We encourage you to avoid anything that can make your tinnitus worse. Understanding tinnitus prevention is as crucial as understanding its treatment. Preventative measures can reduce the risk of developing tinnitus or exacerbating existing symptoms. Here are some strategies and considerations to keep in mind:

1. Limit Exposure to Loud Noises:

  • Workplace Noise: If your occupation involves noisy environments like construction sites, music venues, or factories, always wear protective ear equipment. Industries with high noise exposure often mandate the use of earmuffs or earplugs.
  • Recreational Activities: When attending concerts, using power tools, or engaging in loud recreational activities, consider using ear protection. Even short-lived loud noises, like fireworks, can impact hearing.

2. Turn Down the Volume:

  • Listening to music or watching television at high volumes, especially with earphones or headphones, can lead to hearing damage over time. Opt for noise-canceling headphones that allow you to listen at lower volumes and take regular breaks to rest your ears.

3. Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

  • Avoid Smoking: Nicotine and tobacco can reduce blood flow to the delicate structures of the ear, exacerbating tinnitus symptoms.
  • Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: Excessive consumption might aggravate tinnitus for some individuals. Moderation is key.

4. Manage Stress Levels:

  • Chronic stress or anxiety can contribute to the severity of tinnitus. Techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and physical activity can help manage stress and potentially reduce the intensity or perception of tinnitus.

5. Regular Check-ups:

  • Annual hearing exams can help detect potential problems early. Inform your doctor or audiologist immediately if you notice any changes in your hearing.

6. Be Cautious with Medications:

  • Some medicines, including high doses of aspirin or certain antibiotics, are ototoxic and can cause or worsen tinnitus. Always discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider and inform them if tinnitus develops or worsens with medication.

7. Protect Against Head Injuries:

  • Trauma to the head or neck can cause tinnitus. Wear helmets during sports or activities that pose a risk of head injury.

8. Educate and Advocate:

  • Raise awareness about the risks of noise exposure among friends, family, and community. Encourage venues to use safe sound levels and support initiatives to reduce noise pollution in urban areas.

By integrating these preventive measures into your daily life, you can take proactive steps to safeguard your hearing health and reduce the risk of tinnitus. Remember, prevention is often more accessible and more effective than treatment.

If you struggle to hear over your tinnitus and are ready to start treatment, schedule an evaluation with Sound Relief today. Beyond tinnitus treatment, we can help with any hearing loss you may be experiencing. This can reduce the stress and strain of understanding speech, reducing your tinnitus.

Medically reviewed on 6/20/2024

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Dr. Sara Pitrone, Au.D. Sound Relief Hearing Center Mesa, AZ
Au.D., CCC-A, CH-TM at  | Website

Dr. Sarah Pitrone, Au.D., CH-TM, has been a licensed audiologist specializing in tinnitus management at Sound Relief. She holds a doctoral degree in audiology and a bachelor's degree in audiology and speech-language sciences from the University of Northern Colorado. With a diverse background, including work in public schools, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and neurotology, Dr. Pitrone is dedicated to providing personalized treatment solutions for each patient.

She holds a Certificate in Tinnitus Management (CH-TM) from the American Board of Audiology and a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Ready to Change Your Life?

The next step is scheduling a tinnitus evaluation with Sound Relief. In your first appointment, we will answer your tinnitus questions, help you understand your condition, and develop a treatment plan to get you the relief you deserve.