Managing tinnitus can often be challenging, it is a constant sound in your ear with no apparent source. Which is why it’s important for patients to have access to proper tools and support. Ultimately, the aim for any tinnitus tool, like the OTO mobile app, should be to promote habituation in the brain so that patients can better live with their tinnitus.
At the moment, most tinnitus apps currently on the market are designed towards offering sound therapy. The OTO mobile app is unique in that it’s specifically designed to address the mental health components of living with tinnitus. It offers accessible self-guided techniques that you can use according to your own schedule and treatment needs. The OTO mobile app currently has an average rating of 4.6 stars across over 250 reviews in the Apple store. The app offers a free trial, and if patients are interested they can then purchase a paid subscription.
How does the OTO Mobile App Work?
The OTO mobile app bases its various techniques and practices around something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a protocol that aims to change mental habits and behavior around how we experience tinnitus, and thereby helps tinnitus patients achieve habituation. OTO recommends using the app between five to ten minutes a day so that tinnitus patients, by consistently practicing CBT techniques, can then make micro-adjustments that lead to larger, more beneficial changes in thought patterns and behavior.
The three main sections of the OTO app are built around CBT, sleep, and something called “the practice room.”
Recent research from the Cochran Research Group found that CBT can result in a reduction of tinnitus impact and severity, specifically through increased mental health and quality of life. Armed with this science, the OTO mobile app distills CBT into various self-guided exercises that patients can use as they see fit.
The OTO STOPP Tool
One of the OTO mobile app’s best CBT exercises is something called the STOPP tool. STOPP is an acronym that stands for stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, observe thoughts and body sensations, put your tinnitus into perspective, and practice. OTO’s STOPP tool comes paired with a calming, soothing female narrator who walks tinnitus patients through these steps, thus helping patients to assess and adjust their response to any spikes or difficulties. The STOPP tool has been a cornerstone of our practice here at Treble Health, and has been incredibly helpful in helping tinnitus patients manage their spikes.
The OTO app also has other sections that are helpful to tinnitus patients. One section offers tinnitus-specific guided sleep routines. There has been a host of research showing the efficacy of CBT-focused routines for reducing insomnia in tinnitus patients. The routines offered by the OTO app can be instrumental in helping tinnitus patients sleep better. The OTO app also has a section called “the practice room,” which hosts a collection of guided meditations, visualizations, emotional anchors, and physical therapy routines, which can all work to further support habituation in tinnitus patients.
In my experience as an audiologist, I’ve seen tinnitus patients greatly benefit from using the OTO app on a consistent basis. The best thing about the OTO app is that it can be used according to your current treatment protocol. That said, the OTO app is best served as a supplement to a larger treatment protocol—ideally, one that includes a proper sound therapy plan, which the app explicitly recommends. With the guidance of a professional, you’ll be able to move quickly through the various stages of tinnitus habituation, using the OTO app as necessary to support your journey.
Full disclosure: Treble Health has offered consultation to OTO.
What To Do Next For Tinnitus
At Treble Health, we know the importance of having a comprehensive approach to tinnitus management. That includes neuroplasticity, sound therapy, and proper medical tests. We put together a consumer guide to help you master tinnitus management so you can improve tinnitus once and for all. Click here to get the free Tinnitus Guide: 2022 Edition.
Want to speak with an expert audiologist about your options for tinnitus treatment instead? At the tap of a finger, you can schedule a free Treble Health Tinnitus Consultation today! You’ll be connected with a real audiologist, not a salesperson, and there is no obligation or commitment.