Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

At Sound id.EARS, we are proud to offer Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) to treat tinnitus. TRT is also known as habituation therapy.

TRT is based upon the Neurophysiological Model of Tinnitus which was originally proposed by Dr Pawel Jastreboff in 1990. For over 20 years, this model continues to remain unchallenged and an increasing number of researchers and clinicians are adopting this treatment approach.

It uses sound therapy combined with informational counselling to reduce the emotional and fearful associations to the tinnitus. The informational counselling component demystifies and explains the condition which allows the brain to ignore the tinnitus. The sound therapy component requires the use of sound generators with or without hearing aids, depending on an individual’s specific needs. TRT aims to change both the reaction to the tinnitus as well as its perception. As a minimum, an individual can expect to be no longer annoyed by the tinnitus even though it is still heard, with a gradual reduction in the time that the individual hears the tinnitus. Treatment is expected to last 18 – 24 months with large variations between individuals.

TRT requires a clinic visit every 2-3 weeks for the first 2 months, then once every 6-8 weeks for the next 6 months and then once every 12 weeks up to “graduation”. For patients who come from out-of-town, follow-up visits can be replaced by phone consultations on occasion. However, all patients should anticipate keeping the necessary clinic visit schedule in order to maximize treatment results.

The key features of TRT are:

  • It is suitable for all types of tinnitus irrespective of the cause.
  • It requires a certain treatment period and is not a “quick-fix”.
  • It does not require frequent visits and the treatment process easily accommodates out-of-town individuals.
  • There are no harmful side-effects.
  • There is no surgery or drugs involved in this treatment.
  • It is the only tinnitus treatment based upon a scientific model – Neurophysiological Original of Tinnitus TRT (Neurosci Res, 1990, 8:221-254).
  • Research has repeatedly shown significant improvement in over 80% of individuals using TRT (Am J Otology, 1996, 17:236-240), significantly above the placebo effect of 40%.

Carol Lau has been practising TRT since 1999 on a full-time basis since being trained by Dr Jastreboff at the Emory University in Atlanta. Sound id.EARS and Carol treat tinnitus sufferers from all over BC, Alberta, NW Territories and Washington State. TRT would be considered successful if there has been a significant improvement in quality of life. We have seen over 1000 patients and approximately 90% of our patients have benefitted from TRT.