Tinnitus treatment in the form of CBT

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I have to admit this is not a form of treatment I have previously associated with tinnitus. Tinnitus in its most severe form can have devastating effects on those that are unfortunate enough to suffer with it.  The constant ringing in the ears can cause sleep disturbance, anxiety and depression.

A study funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development concluded that CBT, when combined with other treatments, was the most effective treatment of tinnitus.  They identified CBT helps sufferers identify and understand their thoughts and feelings about their tinnitus.  Thoughts and beliefs about tinnitus are explored in order to understand which are true perceptions and which are false, leading to a more positive viewpoint of their condition.  Avoidance and fear related behaviour is similarly explored to reduce the impact of tinnitus on functioning.

It was discovered that the treatment resulted in improvement in mood and sense of well-being and those being treated also reported a reduction in their symptoms. Tinnitus is incurable so any treatment that can assist sufferers with coping with their symptoms should, in my view, be explored.  It has been suggested that those bringing claims for Noise Induced Hearing Loss and Tinnitus should include the cost of CBT treatment as part of their claim for compensation.  Whether Defendants will agree to funding the treatment is of course another story and another blog! Defendants out there - care to comment? 

Karen Thompson

Senior Executive Chartered Legal Executive 
Personal Injury team

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