Tinnitus is a very common problem which affects 44 million Americans. Thankfully, for most, tinnitus does not pose a significant problem; but for a small percentage, it is very invasive. Problem tinnitus (also known as ‘ringing in the ears’) is the frequent experience of bothersome sound that other people cannot hear. For individuals with problem tinnitus, it is perceived as a threat to their well-being. For these people, it interferes with their daily work and even with their sleep. Often associated with tinnitus, but also can be experienced alone, hyperacusis can be equally disruptive. Hyperacusis is the condition in which ordinary sounds seem unpleasantly loud or painful. In both tinnitus and hyperacusis, the cause may be an excessive responsiveness of the central auditory system.
Charles A. Reger & Associates, Inc. offers a comprehensive program for tinnitus habituation and hyperacusis alleviation. This program is patterned after a long term therapeutic program developed jointly in the late 1980s by Pawel Jastreboff, Ph.D.,Sc.D and Jonathon Hazell, M.D. and is referred to as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). It has been utilized for many years and successes have been obtained with over 80% of the patients. This therapy is based upon a ‘neurophysiological’ model and incorporates the use of low levels of broad bands of sound to retrain the way the brain identifies and handles tinnitus. In addition, during ‘directive counseling’, the patient participates in an in-depth discussion in which the source and meaning of his or her tinnitus is detailed through demonstrations of anatomy (structure), physiology (function), and real examples in story format to make the tinnitus phenomenon understandable and demystified. A similar approach has also been successful in alleviating hyperacusis, the related disorder of excessive sensitivity to sound.