You may be seeking relief and wondering which option is right for you in addressing your ringing ears. This information is intended to help you understand more about your choices so you can make an informed decision.
- Use HaRT - sound therapy within a comprehensive, guided, treatment program
- Use a sound generating device alone (outside of a treatment program)
- Alternative approaches
It is a good idea to be evaluated by an ENT doctor to rule out any potentially serious underlying condition before beginning HaRT. If you have recently experienced sudden hearing loss, dizziness, active ear drainage or infection, impacted wax, or extreme anxiety or stress, you should seek a medical evaluation.
Key points to remember
- Habituation Retraining Therapy (HaRT) is based on current knowledge and best practices in tinnitus treatment. You might think about HaRT if your tinnitus is sufficiently frequent, loud, or bothersome that it interferes with your ability to work, sleep, or enjoy daily activities.
- The goal of HaRT is habituation.
- If you have already tried other treatments without success, they may have little to no bearing on whether the HaRT program will be successful.
- Sound therapy involves use of a sound generating device. There are several different devices that can be used.
- Sound therapy for tinnitus can be used by those with or without hearing loss.
- Tinnitus can cause stress, and stress can contribute to tinnitus. Occasional temporary "flare ups" in your tinnitus during the course of treatment (for example when you are under more stress than usual) are normal.
- Tinnitus is complex, involving both neural and perceptual components. Not every patient responds to treatment the same way, or in the same time frame. Improvement is often gradual and may not follow a direct linear path.
HaRT vs. a device alone
Risks and Benefits:
Please consider the following facts in care.
- Educational Support: One main difference between HaRT and using a device alone (for example a generic hearing aid) is that the HaRT program includes significantly more expert education and counseling before, during, and after you begin using a sound therapy device.
- Relationship with a Clinician: In the HaRT program, your progress is personally monitored by a clinician as you hit treatment milestones and move through a progression of stages toward habituation. Details such as when, how long, and at what volume to use a device are taught, along with concepts about how to listen to the sounds, what to expect, and what a normal treatment progression looks like. Questions or concerns are addressed immediately, if and when they arise. Your clinician will know you, your lifestyle needs, the environments you encounter most frequently, your clinical details and audiogram results, and other relevant characteristics that can influence your successful habituation.
- Clinical Assessment: In the HaRT program, your clinician will ensure that you are a suitable candidate for the treatment before you start and will advise you to seek a medical evaluation prior to treatment if necessary. This can help to form a more complete picture of your clinical condition and to identify any other issues that may need to be addressed (e.g. hearing loss.)
- Device Options/Recommendation: HaRT can be applied with several different specialized sound therapy devices. All are designed for tinnitus users. Individual purchase of a device alone may mean the device you select is not as technologically advanced or is not specifically intended for the treatment of tinnitus.
- Short vs. Long Term Results: Use of a device alone may provide temporary relief while the device is being used but not during times when the device is removed/not used. HaRT may provide short term relief, and is also designed to provide long term relief including at times when the sound therapy device is not being used. This process can take several months.
- Results: The vast majority of patients can experience habituation. Nevertheless, it is difficult to predict how your tinnitus will respond to any given treatment approach. Many people will not respond to the use of a device alone. Some people may not respond to Habituation and Retraining Therapy. We believe you can seek care and see for yourself with our expert guidance.
What is involved?
Thorough expert tinnitus education
Habituation guidance and care
Device adjustments as needed
Long-term tinnitus care and follow-up
Device adjustments as needed
If your tinnitus is only occasional or not very bothersome, practicing relaxation techniques, meditation, or mindfulness can help to manage those periods when you notice it. Reducing stress may help to prevent the common cycle of stress – tinnitus – stress. A soft, non-distracting sound around you when falling asleep (such as a fan) can be helpful since tinnitus is more noticeable in quiet environments. Pills, vitamins, and herbs have not been shown to be effective in relieving tinnitus.
Your feelings are an important part of your treatment decision. Use the following to think about what matters most to you.
If you are interested in initiating treatment through the HaRT program, call today 855-984-6648 (US), or 0800 077 6517 (UK)..