I opened an Audiology office last June in a very unique city, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Although the sheer beauty, great food, and small town feel makes this city unique in itself, there is something else that sets it apart. Located within 195 square miles are two air force bases, the air force academy and an army base. Colorado Springs is a military town and if the C-130s flying overhead didn’t give that away, the hearing tests would! I see a lot of noise induced hearing loss at my office and as a result I also see a lot of people suffering from tinnitus or ringing in the ears. After a few months of my office being open, my supervisor asked if I’d be interested opening a tinnitus treatment clinic. Throughout my doctoral program I had developed a desire to work with tinnitus patients, so of course I was thrilled when he proposed this idea.
I have started tinnitus treatment during an exciting time. Today we have many more options than we did even 10 years ago. Sound therapy is one of the newest and most successful methods used in my office.
Tinnitus retraining therapy uses external sounds to provide short- and long-term relief from tinnitus. Through prolonged exposure to certain sounds, this form of sound therapy trains the brain to ignore or look beyond the ringing. When combined with counseling, this can change the emotional response to the tinnitus.
Tinnitus masking is another form of sound therapy. This is a way for tinnitus suffers to temporarily escape the annoyance of their ringing. Broad band noise or ocean like sounds are played and cover up the tinnitus. Does the ringing in your ears make it difficult for you to concentrate in a quite environment? Trouble sleeping because of the ringing in your ears? Then this may be the treatment option for you!