Journeying from Noise to Silence: John's Tinnitus Habituation Story

The journey through tinnitus management is a personal and individual experience. This is vividly exemplified by John, a patient at Treble Health, who managed to tame his tinnitus symptoms through Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). As a 68-year-old attorney from Richmond, Virginia, John’s experience provides valuable insights for others navigating their way through similar health challenges.

The Onset of John’s Tinnitus

In January 2021, John noticed a mild onset of tinnitus, adding to his existing mild age-related hearing loss in the upper frequency ranges. This new symptom, alongside some COVID-related health issues, brought increased levels of stress and anxiety to John’s life. Seeking help, John turned to Treble Health in March. He soon embarked on a treatment plan involving sound therapy, hearing aids, and the strategic use of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT).

The Initial TRT Journey

The first six months of John’s TRT program brought gradual improvements to his tinnitus symptoms. Despite some initial frustrations with the slow pace of improvement, likely slowed down further by his benzodiazepine prescription for anxiety, John persevered. He undertook crucial adjustments, including reprogramming his hearing aids for optimal sound therapy and adopting mindfulness meditation techniques – a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Progression with TRT

By the one-year mark, John reported remarkable improvements, with his tinnitus volume reduced to a mere 1 from the initial 3 or 4. There were even days when he could hardly notice his tinnitus, although high-stress periods could still induce fluctuations. John continued to rely on his hearing aids for sound amplification and pink noise sound therapy, and he used a sleep headband to play brown noise at night. A fundamental part of his journey involved fostering positive thinking and acceptance around his condition.

Lessons from John’s TRT Journey

John’s experiences offer several valuable lessons. For instance, he found that benzodiazepines likely hampered his initial habituation efforts, and that incessantly researching tinnitus online tended to remind him more about his condition rather than aid his recovery.

Moderating stress proved beneficial for John, with wellness practices such as a balanced diet and meditation significantly aiding his habituation process. He found joy in simple pleasures, such as spending time with his grandchildren, and he consciously avoided taking on unnecessary responsibilities.

John found tremendous support in one-on-one counseling through Treble Health and strongly recommends others suffering from tinnitus to seek personal counseling, be it through telehealth or in-person visits. As supplementary aids, John used the Neosensory Buzz, Quieten, and Oto mobile apps to help calm his nervous system.

Looking to the Future

John intends to continue using his hearing aids, understanding the potential link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. He also plans to gradually reduce his reliance on sound therapy, comparing the Treble Health telehealth tinnitus services to having a personal trainer at a gym. In essence, John cherishes the guidance he received from the Treble Health team, and it is this partnership that he credits for his successful journey in managing his tinnitus.

John’s journey is a beacon of hope, demonstrating that, with patience, determination, and the right guidance, tinnitus management is entirely possible. His story reinforces Treble Health’s dedication to providing personalized patient care and the transformational power of a tailored tinnitus treatment plan.

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