May 28, 2012

New Treatment for Tinnitus

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- According to new research, a multidisciplinary approach to treating tinnitus that combines cognitive behavior therapy with sound-based tinnitus retraining therapy* is significantly more effective than currently available treatments at reducing symptoms of this common debilitating disorder and improving quality of life.

"The results are highly relevant for clinical practice because best practice for tinnitus has not been defined, and current treatment strategies are fragmented and costly", Rilana Cima and Johan Vlaeyen from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, were quoted as saying.

Tinnitus is a sustained ringing in the ears and affects up to 21% of adults at some point in their lives. Many treatments are offered for tinnitus, but there is very little evidence about which ones work best and few studies have compared treatments against each other.

"We showed the effectiveness of specialized care compared with usual care not only after the first 3 months of first-step treatment, but also after the more intensive second-step treatment approach ended and 4 months of no treatment," said the two researchers.

"Our findings could lead to consensus in policy about best practice in treatment of tinnitus, standard choices in referral trajectories, and the implementation of standardized tinnitus assessment and thereby more easily comparable outcomes".

The results could make the treatment widely available.

SOURCE: Lancet, May 2012