Is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy successful?

4 answers | Last updated: Nov 08, 2016
Tinnitus asked...

Hi, I have been suffering Tinnitus (constant high pitched ringing sound in ears) for about 5 years. I have visited 4 different ENT( Ear, Nose and Throat) Specialists and no progress has been made. I have tried and taken several different medicines prescribed by ENT doctors and took some over the counter drugs. There must be good and experienced ENT Specialists somewhere that can give me good advice but I just don't know who else to ask. I would like to try Tinnitus Retraining Therapy which is being offered by some Tinnitus center but insurance will not cover the cost. This 2-3 hour visit itself is very costly ($450 per visit) and they can't guarantee it would reduce this constant buzzing sound. Have you heard anything about this type of therapy?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Since there are many things that can cause tinnitis, it is often hard to treat.  You sound like you tried many things, but nothing has really worked for you.  Some suggestions:

  • No aspirin, ibuprofen, or motrin.  These often make tinnitis worse.  Use tylenol instead for pain.
  • Limit caffeine and salt, as they also can increase tinnitis.
  • Stop smoking.
  • White noise has helped some people.  You can buy a white noise machine, or try finding static on the AM radio and see if that gives you some relief.  Often, it helps distract you so that you don't notice the ringing noise.

As for Tinnitis Retraining Therapy, I have found no research to show it is proven to work.  I agree that it is costly, but if you really have tried everything and nothing has worked, you may want to give it a try. 

By the way, have you tried looking into the support groups on the internet for tinnitis?  They may have more information for you.

Community Answers

Nharbin answered...

I not only have tinnitis, but am hard of hearing , so I use hearing aids. Nothing works except getting your mind off of it. If you can listen to a song, get involved in doing something, you don't seem to hear the ringing. But just now, typing and reading and my ringing is loud.

Pavelina answered...

I've had tinnitus and deafness connected with Meniere's syndrome for about 30 years. I've watched my diet during this time, and for a while I took tranquilizers to help me bear the noise. I can't take them anymore, so now I just continue to not ingest things that might make it louder, and I pray that God will give me the strength of character to put up with it, and he has. I have a good life. BTW, no doctor ever helped me. My advice, "get used to it" and keep reading the literature searching for relief.

A fellow caregiver answered...

For the latest reseach information and support go to They put out a wonderful magazine called Tinnitis Today. They are committed to finding a cure. You can also find a support group through them. Our local support group has been one of the most helpful things that I have done for my tinnitis.