What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)?
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) uses a combination of low level, broadband noise and counseling to achieve the habituation of tinnitus (ringing or sound in the ears). This treatment allows the patient to no longer be aware of their tinnitus, except when they focus their attention on it, and even then tinnitus is not annoying or bothersome.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy requires close co-operation with your hearing professional. The therapy is employed at the perceived source of the tinnitus and aims to teach the brain to ignore it.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy combines three significant therapeutic steps:
Directive Counseling: Intensive patient education about the auditory mechanism and the role of the brain plays in tinnitus perception. With education, the tinnitus will be ‘demystified’. This will help reduce distress and anxiety about the tinnitus.
Sound Therapy: Use of ear level or table-top sound generators and/or hearing aids to provide continuous stimulation of the auditory system to interfere with the perception of tinnitus. This would also include the use of environmental sounds. This will also help reduce distress and anxiety about the tinnitus.
Time: It takes time for the brain to habituate to the perception of tinnitus. Most patients report a noticeable improvement is as little as 6-8 weeks. The duration of the TRT program can last between 16 – 24 months.