What if it can’t be cured?
When damage to the ear is permanent, your tinnitus may be there for the long haul. But there are ways to manage it. A tiny device, worn in the ear like a hearing aid, can broadcast white noise to mask the ringing. The down side? It’s not always long-lasting. Another approach, called tinnitus-retraining therapy, teaches you to tune out the sound instead of trying to mask it. A device is programmed to play a sound you enjoy – like ocean waves or instrumental music – at the exact same frequency as the ringing. Eventually, you learn to desensitize yourself to the tinnitus sounds. “It takes hours and hours of training in a clinic, but it works!” says Kinden.