CBT and Tinnitus Loudness

Discussion in 'Dr. Bruce Hubbard (Psychologist, CBT)' started by jazz, May 11, 2014.

    1. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has an excellent history in helping with issues such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. A growing body of literature also exists that attests to CBT's success with tinnitus. While researchers agree CBT is effective for reducing tinnitus distress, however, they disagree about its effect on loudness--or perhaps, more specifically, one's perception of loudness. What's been your experience--both personal and professional--with CBT and tinnitus loudness? Any insight is appreciated.

      Thank You!
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    2. Dr. Hubbard

      Dr. Hubbard Member

      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Thanks Jazz. As far as I'm aware, there is no evidence that CBT techniques applied to tinnitus distress result in reduction of true loudness of tinnitus sounds. However, this is not the goal of CBT. The goal of CBT is to reduce hypervigilence, that is, the anxious preoccupation with the sounds, so that they are no longer important and fade into the background. I don't believe the loudness of my tinnitus has changed. I seems just loud as the day it started! But I generally don't hear it, so it's not important. Tinnitus loudness may matter if it interferes with the perception of an external sound source, for example, in the case of professional musicians who must accurately perceive musical signals in order to respond effectively. In this case, the musicians I've treated with CBT are able to resume their work by developing the ability to "listen through the tinnitus."

      Best wishes!
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