Treating Tinnitus

1 decade 6 months 6 days ago May 30, 2006 May 30, 2006 Tuesday, May 30 2006 Tuesday, May 30, 2006 11:26:09 AM CDT in News

"It's a hushing sound, like, I guess you'd say, like a radiator. The sound that would be steam coming out of the radiator."

Like most people with tinnitus, Shikora says the more you focus on it, the louder it gets.

"I tried accupuncture, I tried biofeedback, and nothing helped," he said. "I was at my wit's end because it really depressed me. You're hearing this constant hushing sound in your ears 24 hours a day."

Two million Americans are like Shikura. It's what finally brought him to the League for the Hard of Hearing, an intensive, 18-24 month program called Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) that starts with a hearing evaluation to rule out any other problems. The heart of the therapy, called directive counselling, teaches patients to put psychological distance between them and the noise in their ears. For some patients, there are low-level noise generators that give the brain something other than tinnitus to listen to.

The TRT program costs $2,000 for the first six months of appointments. From then on, the treatments are on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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