Tinnitus is a perception of a ringing sound within the ear(s), when there is no actual external sound. In most cases, the sound can’t be heard by other people.
When referring to Tinnitus, people often report ‘ringing ears’, although different sounds are reported as well. The sound can appear as a quiet background sound or as a sound even louder that external sounds. Tinnitus can occur sporadically, as well as constantly, and causes different levels of distress.
The causes of Tinnitus can be various factors, from wax build up, a cold, a blow to the head, or prolonged exposure to a loud noise, ear infections, objects in the ear, nasal allergies, neurological damage and stress.
The main symptom of Tinnitus is the ringing sound within one or both ears, although in some cases sounds are perceived differently: high-pitched whining, buzzing, hissing, humming, tinging or whistling sound, or as ticking, clicking, songs, beeping, sizzling, sounds or even as a pure steady tone.
Besides these sounds, there can be other associated symptoms, particularly in the case of severe, continuous Tinnitus:
- Hearing loss
- Musical hallucinations
Studies have shown that Neurofeedback can improve difficult-to-treat Tinnitus. With Neurofeedback, Tinnitus is considered as too much ‘excitability’ in specific brain areas, which leads to uncontrolled activity and brain instability. In other words, Tinnitus is a symptom that shows that the brain is ‘out of control’.
During Neurofeedback training we aim to calm the brain again and to stabilise auditory processing and sensitivity. By calming the brain and training the brain to stay calm, Neurofeedback can significantly improve Tinnitus symptoms.
This 2002 study showed remarkable results in treating three tinnitus sufferers using Neurofeedback, with EEG brainwave analysis before and after showing that the brainwaves had changed, and these changes were still present 12 months after training. The researchers concluded “Neurofeedback induces lasting changes of the subject’s neurophysiology and neuro-chemistry”: Weiler, E. W., et al. “Neurofeedback and quantitative electroencephalography.” The international tinnitus journal 8.2 (2002): 87.
This 2015 study surprised researchers by showing that the parts of the brain involved in generating tinnitus were much broader than expected.
To learn more about Neurofeedback for Tinnitus, visit: www.braintrainuk.com