Tinnitus & Hyperacusis Center

 


Pawel J. Jastreboff, Ph.D., Sc.D., M.B.A.
Professor
Department of Otolaryngology
Emory University School Of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is a common problem, affecting about 17% of the general population around the world (44 million people in the USA). It causes significant suffering in about 4% of the general population (10 million in the USA). Typically patients are told "to learn to live with it." The development of a neurophysiological model of tinnitus (Jastreboff, P.J. Phantom auditory perception (tinnitus): mechanisms of generation and perception. Neurosci.Res.:221-254, 1990) and based on it a new clinical approach have created a totally new treatment for tinnitus that results in significant improvement for more that 80% of the patients treated at our center (Jastreboff, P.J., Gray, W.C., Gold, S.L. Neurophysiological approach to tinnitus patients. Am.J.Otology, 17:236-240, 1996). This method, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), uses a combination of low level, broad-band noise and counseling to achieve the habituation of tinnitus, that is the patient is no longer aware of their tinnitus, except when they focus their attention on it, and even then tinnitus is not annoying or bothersome.

Tinnitus is accompanied by hyperacusis in about 40% of the cases. Hyperacusis is a decreased tolerance of sound and can be a serious problem. Some patients experience hyperacusis without tinnitus.  Tinnitus Retraining Therapy can restore totally or partially the normal level of sensitivity to sound.



 

Last updated June 1, 2012