Why TRT is moot

Why TRT is moot

There is endless debate about TRT (tinnitus retraining therapy).

Most people who have tinnitus use sound to fight the sound, and tend to be alright by using everyday household devices such as a fan, ceramic heater, or air conditioner to generate sound — and that’s sufficient enough to mask the tinnitus.

What’s most important is to avoid silence and have some sound around you — tinnitus is heard most often under silent conditions.

When you go beyond those measures into the “therapeutic”-labeled treatments, marketers tend to get either very scientific, overly professional, or fetishistic about their products. Treatment for TRT usually costs around $3000 with extensive testing and counseling and prescribed devices such as the Oasis Device by Neuromonics is $5000. In February of 2006 I subjected myself to an extensive assay of TRT using the Oasis Device.

The only way I can communicate the sheer horror of that previous adventure is with the following image:

The sound generated from it was basically embedded with synthesized white noise custom-tailored to the pitch and sound of my own tinnitus after an audiological evaluation and listened through headphones to mask the ringing. The generic new age music added to it was embellishment and more so than not was distracting when I needed to concentrate on any specific task at hand.

Not that I am endorsing Apple — but this can all be done for far less expenses with a simple MP3 player such as the iPod Shuffle (a bargain at $49, has a miniature size and an extremely useful clip to secure onto your clothes — apparent conveniences that the Oasis Device lacks) and MP3s of constant soothing sounds and hums.

For example, if you had tinnitus of a high-pitched ringing buzz, you’d listen to white noise or pink noise such as a waterfall or river; medium-pitched and low-pitched, an air conditioner and low-level broadband brownian noise. Just be sure not to overdo the volume.

As for a do-it-yourself TRT, you would listen at 5, 10, then 15 minutes for a few days then set a goal of at least 2 hours a day or more (ideally up to 8 hours) until the tinnitus is barely noticeable.

The Oasis Device product comparison chart:

http://www.neuromonics.com/patient/treatment/process/index.aspx?id=58

It claims that it’s “convenient/non-invasive during treatment”

A photograph of the device:

http://www.neuromonics.com/patient/treatment/index.aspx?id=46

“About the size and weight of a cell phone”

The average cell phone is 100 grams (3.5 ounces). The Modu phone, named by the Guinness World Records as the lightest cell phone in the world, weighs 42 grams (1.5 ounces).

Know what’s convenient/non-invasive? The iPod Shuffle weighs in at only 15.6 grams – that’s half an ounce. Know what else is convenient? It has a neat little clip… and costs less than a percent of the decidedly plump Oasis.

Though after all is said and done, thousands of dollars and hours down the drain and no matter what happens, tinnitus can and has returned to yet again haunt former sufferers, myself included (even after TRT) — through stress and an adverse diet (I couldn’t ditch my ibuprofen, soda and chocolate).

The clincher? Ringing, Buzzing and Whistling are the inseperable holy trinity of absolute power. My foolish attempts at TRT has paled before the incomparable might of tinnitus.