by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
There is a lot of ongoing tinnitus research. Some of the findings are not new, but reinforce what we already knew about tinnitus.
For example, a study about the efficacy of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy revealed that success rates strongly correlated to two things. First, the length of the treatment—meaning longer treatment times (close to 3 years) gave better results than shorter treatment times. Second, the closer a person adhered to the TRT protocols, the better the results. This is nothing new. It just reinforces the fact that if you want to have success in tinnitus reduction when using TRT, you have to follow the “rules” day by day and persevere to the end. Too many people are impatient and try to short-circuit the process, and that just oesn’t work. (1)
Another study revealed that when treating tinnitus, you get more effective results when you address the person’s emotional and cognitive reaction to tinnitus. This means that expecting a treatment such as tinnitus masking, or drugs, or low-level laser treatment by themselves will not be near as effective (successful) as giving the same treatment, but treating the person’s emotional response at the same time. I have said for years that tinnitus is a “psychosomatic” condition and you have to address both the physical and the emotional components of tinnitus in order to be successful. This study just reinforces this view. (2)
Another study found that 43% of all elderly people have tinnitus. Of this group, 59% have tinnitus in both ears. Now you know (whether you wanted to or not). (3)
This same study found that there was a “weak” connection between hearing loss and tinnitus. (In the past studies have shown that 70+ percent of the people with hearing loss have tinnitus so I think the connection is not quite that weak.) But here’s something new. They found that there was a strong connection between tinnitus and diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Therefore, if you have diabetes or hypertension, you have a good chance of getting tinnitus as a result. Thus, it behooves one to get their diabetes and hypertension under control. This will reduce your chances of ending up with constant tinnitus. (3)
If you want to learn more about tinnitus, the many things that can trigger tinnitus, or more about a number of things you can do to help bring your tinnitus under control, check out my book, When Your Ears Ring—Cope with Your Tinnitus—Here’s How.
(1) Thong, J. F., et. al. Dec. 2013. Habituation Following Tinnitus Retraining Therapy in Tinnitus Sufferers. Annals, Academy of Medicine, Singapore. Summarized in Tinnitus Today, Spring, 2014, p. 19.
(2) Rabau, S., et. al. Jan. 2014. Changes Over Time of Psychoacoustic Outcome Measurements Are Not a Substitute for Subjective Outcome Measurements in Acute Tinnitus. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. Summarized in Tinnitus Today, Spring, 2014, p. 19.
(3) Gibrin, P. C., et. al. Dec. 2013. Prevalence of Tinnitus Complaints and Probable Association with Hearing Loss, Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension in Elderly. CoDAS. Summarized in Tinnitus Today, Spring, 2014, p. 19.