Treatment for tinnitus depends on the underlying cause. In most cases, tinnitus is caused by damage to the cochlea. There is normally no need for treatment in such cases other than reassurance. If the patient is extremely bothered by the tinnitus, there are a number of treatment options.
Relaxation exercises help to control muscle groups and circulation throughout the body. This may reduce the intensity of tinnitus in some individuals.
Masking of the noise with a competing sound at a constant low level, such as a ticking clock, radio static (white noise) or soothingsounds (rain, running water) may make it less noticeable, since tinnitus is usually more bothersome in quiet surroundings. Hearing aids may reduce tinnitus while the patients are wearing them.
Medications that can be prescribed include tricyclic antidepressants and betahistine. Tricyclic antidepressants may have a role especially in patients with concomitant depression. Betahistine is a vasodilator that may improve blood circulation in the cochlea. Herbal medications and vitamins that have been advocated are gingko biloba and Vitamin B.
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a multimodality therapy that incorporates counselling, patient education and the use of low level white noise tinnitus maskers. This therapy has shown significant promising results in certain studies. Where the tinnitus is caused by other rare problems (such as a tumor or aneurysm), treatment of the tinnitus involves fixing the main issue.
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