What is tinnitus feedback retraining?

Updated: Feb 27, 2020
  • Author: Aaron G Benson, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Recently, another type of therapy has been developed. White noise or a derivative of the patient's tinnitus that is chosen during a diagnostic session is programmed into a special hearing aid and worn in the ear. This therapy is accompanied by counseling sessions and continuing efforts to assist the patient in coping with the tinnitus. Such sessions may last for one hour once a week or once a month depending on the severity of the tinnitus. Patients occasionally use this therapy for periods of up to 1-2 years. The success with this therapy varies with the severity of the tinnitus and the patient's other problems.

One of the biggest factors in resistance to this therapy is the associated physiatric and emotional disorders. Recognition and treatment of these disorders are very helpful. One of the best ways to decide if this therapy is appropriate is to visit a therapy session and experience it firsthand. Therapists must regularly practice the regimen to do it well, and patients must use the therapy for a period of months to determine if it is useful. Long-term studies have shown that up to 82% of patients enrolled showed improvement in their subjective tinnitus. This method of treatment remains a valuable tool in the management of severe tinnitus.

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