Tinnitus client shares his journey
Audiologist Susan Adams, TRT Specialist
As supervisor of the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Center at CHC I work closely with clients to help them overcome the debilitating symptoms of severe tinnitus and hyperacusis.
The treatment method we use is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), a technique that involves retraining the subconscious (subcortical) parts of the brain to ignore the sound of tinnitus and to achieve the stage in which the client is no longer annoyed by the condition.
Our approach is tailored to the needs of each client. Directive counseling and education sessions are a fundamental part of TRT treatment. Additionally, sound generators and/or hearing aids are used to speed up the habituation process.
Clients who participate in CHC’s Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Center have an 80% success rate in achieving relief from symptoms that previously made life a constant struggle.
One client in our program generously shares his story below, one that he hopes will inspire others to take positive action.
The Battle with the Beasts in my Brain By a CHC client
Tinnitus can be anything from simply annoying (e.g. a common ringing in the ear) to horribly loud unbearable sounds of strange varieties that can vary in volume and duration, so severe as to cause extreme depression, insanity and in very extreme cases, suicide! This I can attest to, having experienced numerous attacks of severe tinnitus since sudden onset in mid-February of 2011.
My initial attack was so intense that I sought diagnosis, treatment and relief from several specialists and renowned hospitals that resulted in very little relief and no known cause related to my malady. Speculation and theories abounded, along with various tests performed and ineffective medications prescribed.
But soon after, the near constant attacks mysteriously began to be less frequent, with diminished noises such that by the end of 2011 the tinnitus actually became tolerable.
This condition remained until mid-February of 2015, exactly four years since my first attack. It was so severe that I enrolled in a tinnitus program in Maryland. But prior to starting, I Googled “Tinnitus treatment programs” and found a near-identical program at the Center for Hearing and Communication, located in lower Manhattan, much closer than Baltimore to my home in North-West New Jersey.
After a free phone conference with Susan Adams, supervisor of the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Center, I did enroll in their program in June of 2015. Now, over six months into the program that included hearing and tinnitus tests and fittings, along with monthly adjustments and consultations, I can honestly say and happily report that the Oticon binaural hearing aids/sound generators are functioning in a manner for which they were designed.
What I like best about the devices is my ability to adjust the volumes of the pleasant generated sounds in both ears to combat the unwanted tinnitus such that it seldom upset me, even though it still can be heard above the generated sounds. Thus, it seems that my brain is being “re-trained” somehow to accept the new sound and reject the tinnitus! Mysterious and amazing stuff!
I’m so thankful that I chose the CHC tinnitus program and thankful for the expert treatment by Susan Adams, along with all others I have dealt with at CHC. Without this program I hate to think what I might have gone through and what I might still be going through, with my tinnitus raging and without any means to combat the beasts in my brain! Thank you, CHC!