EMDR Proven to be Effective for Tinnitus Distress

Discussion in 'Research News' started by sigridcornelia, Jan 2, 2019.

    1. sigridcornelia

      sigridcornelia Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 17, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Combination of stress, anxiety, a cold and a flight.
      Hi everyone,

      Happy new year!

      I just read something about EMDR proven to be effective for tinnitus distress. Not sure if someone else already posted something about it, but I couldn’t find it, so I thought this thread might be helpful and useful to some of you.

      Recent Dutch research shows that EMDR might be effective for 50% of people with tinnitus distress. If you’re curious, here’s the link:

      A trauma-focused approach for patients with tinnitus: the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – a multicentre pilot trial

      I’m curious to hear your opinions. I think the therapy might be helpful to some degree. If you remove negative associations with a certain problem, it gets easier to cope with it. It’s actually comparable to TRT but the research shows it can work a lot faster than TRT. Maybe worth a try, to help some people feel less distressed and cope better.
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    2. Aegyo

      Aegyo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      News article
      I'm Dutch and starting EMDR for tinnitus distress later this month. Had my intake yesterday. The protocol itself is catered to the patient's experience.

      We shall see.

      The results have been widely acknowledged here in Holland. Breaking the cycle of distress changes the priority of tinnitus in the brain. So it is indeed similar to TRT and CBT, but it can be a quicker way.

      Mind you, my tinnitus is stress/trauma induced. I have no hearing loss. So I can't judge the treatment for those that do.
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    3. goose4485

      goose4485 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Over the last 6 months I've been working with a new therapist who is experienced in EMDR and has used it to work with older veterans with Tinnitus that saw improvement after starting EMDR. I was going through a tinnitus rough patch, probably the worst I had had since initially developing it and on one of my worst days she decided to start the EMDR sessions that night, and I can honestly say that since that night things seemed like they started to steadily improve and fast forward 3-4 months and I'm feeling better than I have in a long time.

      Overall I've probably had 7-8 sessions with them lasting 20-30 minutes each time. I can't definitively say that the success I've had the last few months is solely due to EMDR as when going through that rough patch I quickly realized I wasn't doing as well with tinnitus as I had thought, so I've rededicated myself to working on things, being positive, meeting with my therapist weekly (we don't do EMDR every meeting), and really just focusing on improving myself and my life. However, that being said I would definitely attribute at least some of the success I've had to EMDR.

      I'm approaching 3 years of tinnitus this month, it's in both ears and is a constant ring that I'm nearly positive was caused by years of concerts, but possibly triggered by stress. I have some slight hearing loss around 4Khz. This summer I think I had a bit of a setback which seemed to make the ringing worse which drove me into that rough patch I spoke of above. I still hear the ringing just as much, I just seem to be less bothered/less focused on it since starting EMDR.
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    4. Frédéric

      Frédéric Member Benefactor

      Marseille, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing as a treatment for tinnitus

      First published: 28 January 2019



      To determine the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as a treatment for tinnitus.

      Study Design
      Single‐site prospective interventional clinical trial at a university hospital in the United Kingdom.

      Participants were provided with tEMDR. This is a bespoke EMDR protocol that was developed specifically to treat individuals with tinnitus. Participants received a maximum of 10 sessions of tEMDR. Outcome measures including tinnitus questionnaires and mood questionnaires were recorded at baseline, discharge, and at 6 months postdischarge.

      Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory scores demonstrated a statistically significant improvement at discharge after EMDR intervention (P = .0005 and P = .0098, respectively); this improvement was maintained at 6 months postdischarge. There was also a moderate but not significant (P = .0625) improvement in Beck Anxiety Inventory scores.

      This study has demonstrated that the provision of tEMDR has resulted in a clinically and statistically significant improvement in tinnitus symptoms in the majority of those participants who took part. Furthermore, the treatment effect was maintained at 6 months after treatment ceased. This study is of particular interest, as the study protocol was designed to be purposefully inclusive of a diverse range of tinnitus patients. However, as a small uncontrolled study, these results do not consider the significant effects of placebo and therapist interaction. Larger high‐quality studies are essential for the verification of these preliminary results.

      Level of Evidence
      4 Laryngoscope, 2019
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    5. GregCA

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      It's cool, but I don't see any comparison with a control group & placebo group, so the data is not particularly useful unfortunately, except perhaps to be able to say "yeah it probably won't hurt you to try this".

      Also confusing is the fact that they use THI and BDI as measured outcome, but then go on to say "resulted in a clinically and statistically significant improvement in tinnitus symptoms", of which only the psychological aspects are measured (they don't seem to measure intensity/volume for example).
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    6. TuxedoCat
      No Mood

      TuxedoCat Member Benefactor Ambassador Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      high frequency hearing loss
    7. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      I'm confused. What the heck is this? I read where someone is starting EMDR next month. What is it, some kind of eye/neck exercise? Can someone fill in the blanks for an old codger?
    8. Starthrower

      Starthrower Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Dental Surgery
      Back in about 2006 I did extensive EMDR. It is usually for PTSD. So in one sense it will help the person with the stress and distress inside their bodies and deal with that. The tinnitus is not the target.

      It was not so successful for my tinnitus due in part to a therapist who was not qualified in the techinque.
    9. all to gain

      all to gain Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      dirty drugs
      Has anybody else tried this? Results?
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    10. Dosman

      Dosman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Trauma
      I have done EMDR in the past for some other traumatic events in my life. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s actually a pretty simple thing mechanically. You get some kind of side-to-side stimulation that switches back and forth from left to right. The type of stimulation can be different; I’ve heard of a light bar with a row of LEDs that sweeps back and forth, to sounds played through headphones, to a therapist touching you lightly with something like a small wooden paddle. I personally have used a device that consisted of two small vibrating capsules and a controller box. You held one in each hand and my therapist controlled the intensity of the vibration and the speed at which it moved side to side.

      During the therapy I focused on the upsetting memory while talking about it with my therapist, and my anxiety, fear, and anger would slowly lessen. It might sound like nonsense, but it helped me change my emotional response to some very upsetting memories.

      I am working with a different therapist now, and we have just begun working on using EMDR to change my response to the tinnitus.
    11. all to gain

      all to gain Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      dirty drugs
      Just seen this. I had the light bar sweeping back and forth.

      Unfortunately I only had one session as I had to move back abroad, but I will try it again at a later date.

      I must admit it did seem like nonsense when I was doing it, but I'm pleased to hear it has worked for you.

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