If you're plagued with ringing in your ears and ready to see your doctor about it, you'll discover that there are several non-invasive treatment options available to help you cope with tinnitus. These treatments will help you have a normal day without being stressed out by the persistent ringing sound in your ears. Here are some of the current non-invasive approaches to treating tinnitus that your doctor will talk about with you.
Noise Suppression Devices
Tinnitus is often triggered by other sounds in your environment. The goal of noise suppression devices is to mask those sounds that bring on the ringing in your ears. Your doctor or audiologist will first do tests to determine the frequency of the sounds that cause your ringing. They will then adjust the more sophisticated devices to produce the frequencies that mask those sounds.
White Noise Generators - These devices can be purchased over the counter without a doctor's prescription. They produce sounds that attempt to mask other sounds that trigger the ringing. Many of these devices produce nature sounds, such as a waterfall or waves crashing on a beach. The sounds can be recordings of actual sounds or digitally produced sounds. These devices are not adjustable to your frequencies, but some people find them helpful when trying to relax or sleep.
Noise Masking Hearing Aids - These devices are adjusted to your frequencies to produce a low level of white noise that is constantly in the background of your hearing. The sounds produced blend in with the ringing so that your mind has difficulty distinguishing them apart and eventually ignores both sounds. This allows you to focus on your work and conversations with other people without the distracting ringing in your ears.
Audio Retraining Hearing Aids - These devices use musical tones instead of random sounds to mask the ringing. The devices are adjusted to produce a range of tones around the frequency of your tinnitus. Some people respond better to the musical tones than the white noise. Your mind becomes used to the tones playing in your ears and ignores them. After wearing these devices for a time, your mind learns to filter out the sounds as soon as it hears the tones. Contact a company like County Hearing And Balance for more information.
In addition to wearing one of the noise suppression devices, your doctor may suggest trying one of the techniques that help you cope with the ringing.
Biofeedback - This technique teaches people how to control some of their physiological responses to the ringing. You'll learn how to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing and consciously adjust them. This will help you relax in spite of the ringing.
Hypnosis - This technique teaches your mind to focus on something else when it hears the ringing. For example, a therapist will use a hypnotic suggestion to make your mind think about oceans waves when the ringing starts. This doesn't get rid of the tinnitus, but lets you deal with a more soothing sound than the constant ringing.