Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the first World Tinnitus Congress in Warsaw. Tinnitus is being researched all over the world and the understanding of the neurophysiological and neuropsychological relationships is growing.
But also the type and number of therapies is almost incalculable. There are invasive methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation or even implants in the brain and on nerves, new developments such as neurofeedback, well-known tinnitus retraining therapy, music therapies, acoustical exposure with and without frequency filter, but also behavioural therapies and relaxation therapies such as autogenic training, yoga and mindfulness training. Not to mention all the therapies dedicated to somatosensory tinnitus, such as various physiotherapies, manual medicine and osteopathy.
At the beginning, irrespective of the therapy, comes the diagnostic assessment and, if there is hearing loss, it is followed by the supply of hearing aids or even a cochlear implant. The centre of all therapies, however, is the “counselling”, the conversation with the patient, which enlightens, calms, accompanies and helps to find out which therapies could be useful.
Once again, I realised that the tinnitus therapy does not exist because the typical tinnitus patient does not exist either. There are only human beings , suffering from tinnitus and everyone is an individual with individual physiological causes, personal circumstances and an individual capacity of coping possibilities.
And once again, I realised how important it is to tell patients the following, right at the beginning:
Don’t be afraid. Maybe it will take a little while and maybe you will try many different things until you find something that will help you. But it’s getting better!
Or as expressed by a patient suffering from tinnitus:
«Don’t let the tinnitus control you, you control the tinnitus»
(Don’t let the tinnitus control you . You control the tinnitus)