Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment
For years, people who experienced chronic and/or severe tinnitus have tried everything from acupuncture to drug therapy to reduce persistent tinnitus and its disturbance. The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment lets you relieve these symptoms and reclaim your life with a simpler streamlined treatment approach utilizing a specialized tinnitus device and treatment protocol developed by Paul Davis, Ph.D. The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment is not Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). It is not a hearing aid, nor a tinnitus masker. Rather it is a new, global breakthrough in tinnitus treatment, an alternative to classic TRT, which is more attractive to many patients as a treatment.
Why is it a breakthrough?
The Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment:
- Reduces symptoms quicker than TRT: Many patients enjoy some relief almost immediately. Results are usually faster than TRT, with Sound Therapy lasting 6-12 months in less complicated cases, and 12-18 months when complications exist.
- Treats the cause: Neuromonics addresses underlying neurological causes of tinnitus, causing a neurological reprogramming in the brain of the auditory system and the related emotional processes of the Limbic System associated with the tinnitus problem.
- Provides significant long-term relief: Relief lasts even long after the treatment ends.
- Is convenient and non-invasive: No medication or surgery is required. It supports your body's own natural mechanisms to block out tinnitus symptoms. The device is worn 3 hours daily, broken into shorter increments of time during the treatment period, rather than 8-14 hours with TRT devices. It can also be used as a relaxation and sleep therapy aid.
- Is clinically proven: It is effective for 90% of tinnitus cases, as demonstrated by 15 years of clinical studies, when the correct protocol is followed for patients who are proper candidates. Neuromonics is a form of habituation therapy, although masking is included as one part of the Phase 1 treatment, in addition to other sound components.
- Can be used for simultaneous hyperacusis. It is FDA cleared for simultaneous treatment, but not as a stand alone approach for hyperacusis.
- May be used in conjunction with TRT. Many clinics report that some individuals benefit more with a combined Sound Therapy approach.
- Is an alternative to TRT. In many cases, it can be used without having to wear ear-level devices.
How Neuromonics Works
A small, lightweight Oasis™ device with headphones delivers precisely designed music embedded with a pleasant acoustic neural stimulus. These sounds, customized for each user's audiological profile (including hearing threshold loss and loudness discomfort patterns), stimulate the auditory pathway with a wide frequency response upward to 12.5kHx to promote neural plastic changes. This stimulates a large range of inner ear sensory cells and their direct connections up the auditory pathway. Over time, these new connections help the brain to habituate to the reaction and awareness of tinnitus, providing long-term relief from symptoms.
Eight to Twelve Month Treatment Process
The Neuromonics treatment generally occurs over approximately 8-12 months, with many reporting some relief during the first months and sometimes significant changes within 3 to 6 months. Occasionally, some significant changes will be observed immediately— particularly relief of distress. Throughout the treatment process, education and support are provided, similar to TRT.
Personal Assessment & Fitting
Before any treatment begins, our tinnitus audiologist will need to meet with you to evaluate your tinnitus, sound sensitivity profile and hearing. After assessing your audiological profile, we then discuss which treatment options are most appropriate for you and whether the Neuromonics treatment can help.
If we both agree that Neuromonics may be right for you, you may order and be fitted with the Oasis™ device. The device delivers a wide band, including an ultra-high frequency acoustic stimulus that is embedded in precisely designed relaxing music. These sounds are processed to create specific acoustic effects, and deliver at a low-listening level. Imbedded within the music is a wide band calibrated white-noise signal, similar to that used within TRT. Tones that remain largely inaudible due to the music and a slow essentially inaudible rhythmic low-frequency, pulse similar to a resting heartbeat sound. The stimulus is customized to your individual prescription, based on your audiological profile.
Stage 1: Relieving the Symptoms
This phase helps relieve symptoms so that you can begin to experience control over your tinnitus while continuing treatment. The Oasis™ device is worn for at least two and, preferably, three hours per day (or longer, if favored) during daily activities like reading, preparing meals or at the office. This stage typically lasts about 2 months, but may last longer in cases of severe distress, continuing loud sound exposure in ones lifestyle, or in certain active medical conditions. Some patients choose to remain in Stage 1 for the duration of treatment.
Stage 2: Breaking the Cycle
The goal of Stage 2 is to help the brain develop those neural connections that allow it to filter out tinnitus sounds. When this happens, relief continues even without regular use of the OasisTM device. In this stage, the device is still used for 2 or, preferably, 3 hours per day. Treatment times are then gradually reduced as tinnitus disturbance lessens. This stage of treatment typically lasts until the end of standard treatment. Treatment may last longer in cases of severe psychological distress.
After a successful treatment program, we will work with you to develop a maintenance program you can use to continue to control your tinnitus on your own, by occasional device use. Many people do not feel the need to use the device after treatment. Those who do typically use it for short periods of time to help them maintain the benefits achieved.
Candidacy for Tinnitus Treatment
Not all patients are suitable for Neuromonics, including those with severe hearing loss or deafness, who need hearing aids but will not wear them, or who have severe hyperacusis. Some psychological conditions or medications can interfere with response to treatment, including post-traumatic stress syndrome, Panic attack syndrome, misophonia and/or phonophobia. Individual results may vary. Benefits, as demonstrated in medical literature, are based on results achieved by the end of or in the last quarter of the therapeutic time window for patients who have completely followed the recommended protocols. Neuromonics does not usually produce immediate results within the first 2 or 3 months, so patience is required. However, for good candidates who complete treatment, significant benefit is anticipated in over 90% of cases. It is essential that the treatment protocols be followed completely to obtain maximum results, including following any recommendations for hearing aid use or psychological therapy. Individual results may vary.
It is most helpful to be able to have a complete rehabilitation assessment by a tinnitus audiologist trained in multiple therapies for tinnitus, decreased sound tolerance and hearing loss to determine if you are a good candidate for Neuromonics and if this is likely the best treatment available for you. Mr. Bartlett has been trained by Paul Davis, Ph.D. its developer and has been certified as a Neuromonics specialist since 2006. Neuromonics has been FDA cleared as a device when used following the Neuromonics Treatment protocol. It is used by and approved for use by the Veterans Administration medical system and is on contract with them.
Effectively managed Neuromonics, as well as TRT, looks at and uses many avenues to positively influence and strengthen the process of habituation to the reaction to and awareness of tinnitus. This includes specialized informational and Directive Tinnitus Counseling. Effective management also sometimes requires interdisciplinary care by cognitive behavioral psychotherapists, sleep medicine specialists, and other interdisciplinary healthcare providers. Interdisciplinary care can greatly accelerate the chance and speed of benefit.