TINNITUS MANAGEMENT

Our Helix Hearing Care clinics provide tinnitus testing and products designed to help manage your condition. If you require other tinnitus services like retraining therapy, contact us to find out which of our locations offers them.

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Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom arising from a range of underlying causes. It is one of the most common conditions that people experience – an estimated 37% of adult Canadians (9.2 million) had experienced tinnitus in the past year. 
 
When it comes to treating tinnitus there are a number of treatment options available. Once you have been tested and diagnosed, you can look into treating the condition. Often it can be managed with hearing aids or masking devices when hearing loss is involved. When hearing aids are not an option counselling, and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy could be the next step.

Tinnitus Testing

At the appointment, the clinician will have a conversation with you about what you are experiencing with tinnitus. During this conversation, they will ask you certain questions based on common signs and symptoms. You will be asked about the noise you are hearing, triggers, when you hear it most often, and any pre-existing conditions or medications you are on. 
 
There is no test specifically for tinnitus, but hearing tests can be performed that can help confirm a diagnosis. 

Tinnitus Management Services

Each of our hearing clinics can offer different forms of tinnitus management options, the most common being hearing aids and masking devices. Our hearing care professionals will recommend a treatment for you based on the type of noise in your ear. 

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Tinnitus Masking Device
Tinnitus masking devices work to “drown out” the internal sounds of your tinnitus. They fit in the ear like a hearing aid and produce low-level sounds. There are also bedside maskers available to help alleviate tinnitus symptoms in the evening. 

With the maskers, your tinnitus and the masking sound are both passed on to the background. They don’t work in the same way as playing music to wash out the sound. They use specific noises and tones to dampen the noise in your ears. This allows you to focus easier, fall asleep, or relax your mind. 
 
To see if you might benefit from a tinnitus masking device, try turning on your faucet. If the sound of the running water drowns out your tinnitus, a masker has a high likelihood of working for you. Our clinics will carry masking devices to help manage your tinnitus.
 
Hearing Aids for Tinnitus

For people who have both tinnitus and hearing loss, hearing aids can be an effective way to manage both conditions. The hearing aids amplify other sounds  you want to hear, which draws attention away from the tinnitus. 

Some hearing aids can be programmed to contrast the internal sound of tinnitus. These types of hearing aids work in two ways to help your condition: 

  • Compensate for hearing loss so that you hear external sounds better
  • Provide a tinnitus management program in your hearing aid settings

By combining the two technologies, people are able to benefit from both devices, without switching between them. This is great for anyone who leads a simple lifestyle as they don’t have to juggle between the different devices.
Tinnitus Therapy Apps
There are also special apps you can get on your smartphone that can help provide therapy for your tinnitus. 

The WIDEX ZEN Therapy app is a comprehensive tinnitus management program. It consists of four components that can be tailored to your individual needs. That includes counseling features that help you change the negative interpretation of tinnitus. Amplification can be used to stimulate the ears and brain to reduce the contrast between the surrounding sounds and the tinnitus. 

Other components include relaxation and fractal tones which are designed to provide a calming effect, and may also be used as a sound therapy tool. 

The Zen Therapy app is available to download for free from the Apple Store and Google Play. 
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) can help you grow accustomed to your tinnitus. This means you can reach a state of mind where there is no longer a negative emotional response. 

TRT can include directive counselling, sound therapy and most importantly time. The therapy teaches you to ignore the tinnitus to the point that it no longer bothers you. This form of tinnitus treatment takes 12 to 24 months and is successful when performed by an experienced and certified therapist.
Tinnitus Counselling
Another option is tinnitus counselling with an experienced hearing health care professional. Those who have been trained in managing tinnitus can provide counselling to improve your chances of success in regaining your quality of life. They will help you obtain extensive educational resources on tinnitus and learn more about your triggers.
 
It should be understood that not all tinnitus can be eliminated or reduced, no matter the cause. Sometimes it will go away on its own.
Medications for Tinnitus
If your tinnitus is caused by another illness or health condition, and not due to exposure to loud noise, some medications may help. However, no medications have been approved specifically for the treatment of tinnitus. 

The way these medications work is by treating the underlying cause of the tinnitus. The more the symptoms of those conditions are reduced, the more the severity of your tinnitus is also reduced. It may be completely eliminated if your underlying condition is cured. 

Tips for dealing with Tinnitus

Here are some general tips to help you deal with tinnitus: 

  • Exercise: physical activity helps to reduce stress and distracts you from the noises in your ear 
  • Diet: watch what you eat because some food and beverages have been known to trigger or exacerbate tinnitus symptoms 
  • Ear protection: always wear hearing protection when you are exposed to noise or loud music 
  • Relaxation: reduce stress and find a calming technique that suits you, such as autogenic training, yoga, meditation, and so on 
  • Ambient noise: increasing background noise, such as white noise, can help you stop focusing on it instead of your tinnitus
  • Listening to music at moderate levels will help take your mind off the ringing in your ears

Learn More About Tinnitus

Tinnitus is often described as ringing, buzzing or humming noises in the ears, but it can be experienced differently from person to person. The pathophysiology of tinnitus is not fully understood by scientists, but it is widely believed that the sounds you're hearing are generated by your nervous system, or by your brain.  
 
Tinnitus has also been associated with ear infections, earwax and sensory nerve disorders. Tinnitus can be triggered by a number of different things, but it is most often caused by loud noise that damages the delicate cells of the inner ear. Alternately, stress and high blood pressure can set off tinnitus. 

Request a Tinnitus Service Appointment

Contact your local Helix Hearing Care to see what tinnitus services they offer and to request an appointment.

No tinnitus treatment will work immediately — it takes time and commitment from you to gain control over your tinnitus. 

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