Managing Tinnitus – Does Anything Really Work?
Hearing aids whistle sometimes. Just like your phone sometimes does when it’s too close to the radio. Here’s what causes it and what you can do about it.
If you wear hearing aids, you’re going to experience whistling at some point. It can happen through something as simple as putting on a scarf. The whistling is called hearing aid feedback.
What is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is one of the most misunderstood conditions within the domain of hearing and hearing loss. When it comes to tinnitus, abundant myths and misconceptions are the first obstacles that the afflicted person must tackle.
One of the most persistent misconceptions it that once you have tinnitus, nothing can be done to alleviate it. Actually, this is far from the truth. But what is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom of various chronic conditions that make the affected person hear sound when no sound is present. It can manifest as a ringing, buzzing or humming noise. Up to 15% of the population experience tinnitus.
For some, tinnitus can become a source of significant stress. Ranging from mild annoyance to severe distress. Fortunately, the severe cases are few and far between. Most tinnitus treatments focus on alleviating the distress caused by the condition. One such program is Widex Zen Therapy or WZT.
Widex Zen Therapy was created in 2012 and consists of four elements:
- Counselling. Provides you with information relevant to you and your tinnitus in order to help you change the negative interpretation of tinnitus.
- Amplification. Many of those who suffer from tinnitus also have hearing loss. Amplification can be used to stimulate the ears and brain to reduce the contrast between the surrounding sounds and the tinnitus. Hearing aids can be very effective in decreasing the perception of tinnitus.
- Fractal tones. Fractal tones are designed to provide relaxation and may also be used as sound therapy tool. Music is believed to be helpful in reducing stress because of the wide range of neural structures that are activated.
- Relaxation. Relaxation exercises and sleep management exercises are often efficient ways of bringing down the stress that often is a part of tinnitus.
Relief from tinnitus
Widex recently published the conclusions from a range of nine different studies that looks at how well Widex Zen Therapy works.
The studies showed a range of positive effects of WZT including higher levels of relaxation, easier communications and lower levels of tinnitus distress. One study also concluded that WZT begins to have a positive effect within a shorter timeframe than other tinnitus treatments.
Help for tinnitus
As a supplement to Widex Zen Therapy, Widex has created the Widex Zen Tinnitus Management App. The app helps users manage their tinnitus by incorporating helpful features inspired by WZT. The app works with iPhone as well as Android smartphones.
All in all, the evidence supporting the efficacy of WZT is strong. The studies show that there is something to be done about tinnitus and that the you-just-have-to-live-with-it-myth simply is not true.
So, it is fair to say that the results look hopeful for people in need of a way to easily manage their tinnitus.