Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Tinnitus is the term for a phantom sound you may hear in your ear or head. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a special tinnitus treatment plan shown to be highly effective in treating bothersome tinnitus and/or hyperacusis (oversensitivity to loud sounds).
A habituation-oriented tinnitus treatment method retrains the subconscious parts of the brain to ignore the sound of the tinnitus. The goal of the treatment is to reach the point where the tinnitus is a neutral stimulus. At this stage, the brain can be trained not to be aware of or annoyed by the tinnitus. Most patients who have successfully completed the program can still hear their tinnitus if actively listening for it in a quiet environment, but it no longer causes any annoyance. TRT is also beneficial for patients with sound tolerance problems (hyperacusis), with or without tinnitus.
What are the components of TRT?
TRT involves detailed directive counseling and sound therapy provided by certified audiologists. Patients are scheduled for an initial two-hour appointment which involves a detailed case history, an audiogram (if one has not been performed in the past year), and specific tinnitus and sound tolerance testing. Patients who are good candidates for TRT are then sent for a medical evaluation, if this has not already been done. Pending the medical evaluation, patients return for a three-hour appointment to include directive counseling and usually instrument fitting.
Directive counseling includes explanation of the theoretical basis of TRT, emphasizing the basic function of the auditory system and the brain relevant to tinnitus. Sound therapy typically involves the use of low level broadband sound generators, worn either behind the ear or in the ear. Patients with hearing aids may be able to use their hearing aids instead of the sound generators, depending on the subtype of tinnitus. Patients need to return for follow up at 1, 2, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months (if needed) following the initiation of treatment.
Who is a candidate for TRT?
TRT is beneficial to patients with tinnitus alone, tinnitus with hyperacusis, or hyperacusis alone. TRT can be offered to patients once they are medically cleared regardless of the cause or severity of the tinnitus.
How effective is TRT?
Over 80% of patients have reported significant improvement with TRT. However, it is important to follow the protocol of TRT. Patients who have received instrumentation alone, without sufficient counseling, have not achieved the same rate of success.
What is the cost involved?
The total costs of TRT can vary, based on your needs. The initial evaluation costs $300, but may be less with valid audiometric testing by another audiologist. All fees and costs are the responsibility of the patient. All fees are due at the time of the appointment. We will gladly file insurance claims as a courtesy. Typically, insurance only covers the charge for the audiometric testing. The counseling fee of $625 includes the initial counseling session and follow up counseling sessions through 18 months following treatment. Additional charges may be incurred for further testing if needed, as determined by the audiologist in consultation with the patient. The cost of the sound generators includes fitting and follow up, and varies based on the device model. All costs and fees are subject to change without notice, but will be fully disclosed, and patient consent will be obtained prior to provision of services or ordering a device.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Call Clarity at 864-331-1400 to schedule an initial two-hour appointment. We will send you a welcome packet detailing the TRT program, prior to your initial visit. Clarity works with your insurance company to facilitate payment of evaluation and therapy fees. Services are available to residents of Greenville and surrounding areas by self-referral or by referral from physicians, other agencies or professionals. Evaluations are available by appointment and therapy is available as determined by our licensed audiologist.