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"Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no actual external sound is present".
- American Tinnitus Association
"The sensation of sound without external stimulation".
-ANSI- American National Standard Institute
Tinnitus can manifest many different perception of sound including buzzing, hissing, whistling , clicking etc. Tinnitus can range from very low frequency to very high frequency. It can be perceived as pulsed or intermittent.
One in seven people worldwide are suffering from Tinnitus.5 to 10% of people experience mild Tinnitus at some time in their life. Various studies show that 50% of those with Tinnitus are over the age of 40, 60% experience poor sleep and 50% face a reduced quality of life.
About 3 million people in UK experience severe and persistent Tinnitus that affects their life and 20 million people in USA struggle with chronic Tinnitus, while 2 million people have extreme and debilitating Tinnitus.
Over the years, many methods of tinnitus treatment have been introduced, but very few survived the test of time. More than a decade has passed since the introduction of the neurophysiological model of Tinnitus and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy(TRT). TRT is used successfully now in more than 20 countries.
TRT reflects the practical implementation of the neurophysiological models of Tinnitus. It is a method aimed primarily at habituating tinnitus – evoked reactions of the brain and body, and secondarily at habituation of Tinnitus perception. Successful TRT patients are not bothered by their tinnitus, even though they are aware of it.
The two main components of TRT are:
(1) Educational Counselling
(2) Sound Therapy
Counselling sessions are aimed at the reclassification of tinnitus into a category of neutral signals. During the sessions, tinnitus is demystified and patients are taught about physiological mechanism of tinnitus and its distress, as well as the mechanisms through which tinnitus habituation can be achieved.
Sound therapy- constant low level broad band sound decreases the difference between tinnitus-related and background neuronal activity. Consequently, the strength of activation of the limbic and autonomic nervous systems, which at the behavioral level is reflected by a decrease in tinnitus evoked annoyance is reduced.
All patients received routine audiometric evaluation incliding discrete-tone threshold testing and speech audiometry. For most of the patients, HL- hearing level( in dB) were determined at 8 frequencies.
Development of standardized methods for measuring methods for measuring the pitch, loudness, and other characteristics of tinnitus was completed. The basic test protocol involved measurement of four tinnitus parameters: