Tinnitus is caused by many things: ear-damaging drugs, jaw misalignment, Méniére’s disease, head injury, in rare cases a tumor on the auditory nerve. The most common culprit is excessive noise exposure. But regardless of its cause, tinnitus can be relieved – sometimes on the spot – by sound therapy. Here is the reason: A steady, low-level, broadband sound, like that of rainfall, can reduce the contrast between the patient’s internal noise and the sometimes too-quiet external world. Sound therapies, commonly called masking and tinnitus retraining therapy, can make tinnitus less noticeable and, for a lot of people, less troubling.
Other treatments, including medications, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, and a particular type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy, are helpful too.
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