Tinnitus is the experience of sound in the ears or head when there is no exterior sound. The noise can sound like ringing, whistling, buzzing, clicking, humming or hissing. Some patients have also described hearing tunes and melodies. The sound can be heard in one ear or both ears, or feel like it is coming from the centre of the head. It can be low, medium or high pitched, pulsatile (may come and go) or continuous.
Tinnitus can be very frustrating, simply because there is no one single cure. Doctors generally cannot pinpoint the source of the problem, although it is thought to have a neural basis. Unfortunately, medical professionals do not have a quick and easy fix.
According to the British Tinnitus Association (2015), 10% of the UK population has tinnitus. This increases to 17% of 40 to 69 year-olds, and 25% to 30% of over 70s. Cases of deafness and tinnitus on younger ages have also increased due to the exposure to loud noises. Ultimately, though, there are no precise causes identified for the existence of tinnitus.
Please note that I don’t cure tinnitus, but treat tinnitus; one of the main methods of treatment is the desensitisation to those sounds, then the volume starts to go down until you no longer notice it. Hypnotherapy and tinnitus therapy helps to turn down the volume until the sounds are at the minimum level. It teaches you to transform that loud ringing in your ears into a signal that you no longer perceive. The goal is to retrain your brain and take away meaning for that sound so that it is no longer a point of focus.
Integrating tinnitus in one’s life is extremely important in managing it. For some people through, the habituation process may be hindered if the person is giving tinnitus a negative meaning, fear or worry, leading to a flight-or-fight response.
Tinnitus is also linked with stress. The condition can lead to stress but also stress can increase the intensity of tinnitus. In some cases, tinnitus is connected with deep psychological issues, which need to be addressed first before treatment. For some people, focusing on tinnitus distracted them from dealing with other deep emotional issues.
For all those reasons, I used a holistic approach to treat psychological causes and symptoms of tinnitus; depending on the client I also help them with:
• dealing with stress or anxiety and negative thoughts – I will teach you relaxation techniques to help reduce the invasiveness of your tinnitus, its effects on your stress levels and everyday life. I will train you in breathing and muscle relaxation techniques.
• fixing bad habits such as diet rich in sugar and carbohydrates, smoking or drinking. Diet and dehydration can significantly affect the symptoms.
• fatigue, or getting enough sleep as tinnitus can either preventing you from falling asleep or waking you up
Hypnotherapy has been used for over 30 years in the treatment of tinnitus. Based on a study of 393 tinnitus patients who were given Ericksonian hypnotherapy for 28 days, 88% of participants showed immediate improvement that lasted 6 to 12 months after therapy.
Also, Rational Emotive Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy which is a combination of CBT with hypnotherapy is an effective tool in managing the symptoms of tinnitus and helping the patient integrate tinnitus into his/her life using relaxation and cognitive restructuring of thoughts. The success rate at reducing tinnitus is 100%. Over 50% of clients have achieved a total elimination of symptoms. The number of sessions it takes it varies from 4 to 10 sessions.
I only treat tinnitus that has no medical or physiological origins, or that is not caused by deafness or medications or caused by Temporomandibular disorder (TMD). So prior to book a session with me, please see your doctor to eliminate any physiological reason for the condition.
With intensive counselling and cognitive behaviour hypnotherapy sessions given to you on an individual basis, you will finally be able to overcome tinnitus or significantly reduce its symptoms. You will have a long-term solution that doesn’t involve surgery or the use of medication for relief.