The most common and successful method used is what is known as tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). The aim of this is for the client to get to know their chronic tinnitus well enough that they are able to suppress their perception of it over time. Through TRT therapy, the brain gradually learns to get used to the tinnitus and no longer perceives the noise to be so dominant. This can greatly reduce the psychological strain on the client. Tinnitus retraining therapy is ideally suited to people with slight or chronic noise in the ear. The main prerequisite for successful tinnitus retraining therapy is consistent and active cooperation from the patient. This is also the case for cognitive behavioral therapy. As part of this therapy, with the help of a psychotherapist, the person affected tries to change their perception of the noises so that they become less intrusive.
Some of those affected by chronic tinnitus have also had good experiences with alternative approaches, such as Chinese medicine. It is advisable to talk to other people affected by tinnitus, for example in a self-help group found through the American Tinnitus Association.
The three cornerstones of tinnitus retraining therapy
Number 1: Education and advice. Anyone who has the right information and knows the topic well will find the noises in their ear less threatening.
Number 2: Sound therapy By concentrating on pleasant sounds (fountains, the sounds of nature, music, etc.), the negative noise in the ear will be suppressed into the background.
Number 3: Increasing psychological and physical wellbeing. There are various, highly individual approaches to this, from behavioral therapy and counseling through to yoga and tai chi.