Goals of the Tinnitus Program at the Hearing and Speech Center
An audiologist specializing in tinnitus will work with a patient, using a comprehensive and integrative approach to establish an appropriate and customized treatment plan.
Our goals include:
- Resolve outstanding medical issues
- Protect residual hearing
- Provide realistic expectations
- Facilitate habituation using a combination of sound therapy and counseling/education
- Reinforce changed perception of tinnitus
An audiologist who specializes in the area of tinnitus will conduct a comprehensive evaluation that can often take 3-4 hours. Each person who comes to the Center will be sent a tinnitus packet to fill out prior to their evaluation which documents the history and impact of their tinnitus. The tinnitus packet also contains several scales to assess the severity and handicap tinnitus is having on one’s life.
The tinnitus evaluation starts with an in depth interview followed by a comprehensive audiologic evaluation which includes standard pure tone audiometry as well as ultra-high frequency audiometry up to 14kHz ( not usually completed for regular hearing tests) . Speech testing includes speech reception thresholds, word recognition scores, MCL, UCL and also ANL (acceptable noise levels). Otoacoustic emission testing is also conducted which evaluates the presence and function of outer hair cells in the cochlea. Tinnitus studies include pitch and loudness matching, masking studies, LDLs (loudness discomfort levels) and tests for residual inhibition.
The hyperacusis evaluation includes some of the same tests depending on the loudness discomfort levels (LDLs) of the individual.
Following completion of the evaluation, the audiologist will review the findings with you and discuss the variety of treatment and therapy options available for management of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis. Below is a list of sound therapy options and counseling services offered at our clinic.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
Sound Desensitization Therapy (for Hyperacusis)
Acoustic (Sound) therapies
Serenade by Sound Cure
Custom Musician’s Plugs
Progressive muscle relaxation
Additional Treatment Options
Below is a list of additional treatment/management options for tinnitus. These are not currently offered at our clinic, but are often discussed during the tinnitus evaluation and the audiologist can make appropriate referrals if needed.
Repetitive Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Mindfulness Based Therapy
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Hallam R.S. (1989), Living with tinnitus: Dealing with the ringing in your ears. Wellingborough, Northamptionshire, Thorsons; 1989
Henry JL, Wilson PH. Tinnitus: A self-management guide for the ringing in your ears. Boston: Allyn & Bacon; 2002
Tyler RS. The Consumer Handbook on Tinnitus. Auricle Ink Publishers., Sedona, 2008
Henry J, Zaugg T, Myers, P, Kendall, C., How to Manage Your Tinnitus: A Step-by-Step Workbook