Understanding Tinnitus: Treatment Options (Part 4)

Understanding Tinnitus: Treatment Options (Part 4)

[If you have not seen Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series, take a second to go and check them out.]

Now that you understand what tinnitus is, you might be thinking, “What can I do if I have tinnitus?” or “How can therapy be helpful with the symptoms I am experiencing?” Today I hope to give you an idea of the treatment options that are available for someone who might be suffering from tinnitus.

Most people who are diagnosed with tinnitus often have one important question, “Is there a cure for tinnitus?”

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for tinnitus. 

Although there is no cure, tinnitus can often be managed by altering a person’s reactions to it. 

This is where seeking out a licensed therapist or counselor can be helpful. A therapist or counselor can help you learn coping techniques to make the symptoms less troublesome. They can also help with other issues often linked with tinnitus, including the disorders we discussed in Part 3 of this series.

Specifically, you should look for a professional in the mental health field who is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that is based on treating a patient’s emotional reaction to tinnitus. To accomplish this change in perception, a therapist helps the patient identify negative thought patterns and behaviors and then helps the patient to alter them. Therapy is individually tailored for each specific person and is most effective when paired with other tinnitus treatments.

Mindfulness is a non-judgmental approach to life that can help people learn to live in the present through inner relaxation skills. Mindfulness can also help with anxiety that can often accompany tinnitus. We’ll talk about that in greater detail next time.

If you think that you, or someone you know, may be suffering from tinnitus, here is a quick review of the steps you can take to get help: 

  • Schedule an appointment with an audiologist to get more information and learn your treatment options.

    • An audiologist can measure your hearing and evaluate your tinnitus.
    • An audiologist can also provide you with the latest treatment options available.
  • Schedule an appointment with a therapist to help manage your tinnitus.

    • A counselor can help you learn ways to cope with and reduce the impact of tinnitus through therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
    • Counseling can also help with other problems often linked to tinnitus, including stress, anxiety and depression.
    • Mindfulness can also be useful addressing both physical health and emotional wellbeing that has shown benefit in relieving tinnitus.

Look out for Part 5 of this series on how Mindfulness can be effective in managing tinnitus.

 

Amanda Dempsey, MA MFT

adempsey@ GROWcounseling.com

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