What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, and Does it Work?

Sep, 21, 2023

Having your everyday peace and quiet disturbed by a persistent noise nobody else can hear can feel quite isolating. Unfortunately, this is precisely what those living with tinnitus experience.

The noise can be so overpowering that many individuals struggle go about everyday activities like driving, and concentrate on their work life. Furthermore, tinnitus can impact an individual's sleep schedule by causing disruption and frustration at bedtime. A lack of sleep can cause a domino effect in other areas of life, causing physical and mental health disturbances.

While there is no doubt tinnitus is a serious and frustrating condition, luckily, there are treatment options that can relieve the symptoms. Tinnitus retraining therapy offers respite for many New Zealanders. Tinnitus retraining therapy is a proven treatment option that many individuals rely on to decrease the impact of tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?

If you live with tinnitus, chances are you’re wondering, “What is tinnitus retraining therapy?” and can it help me? Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) is a treatment option that allows individuals to become more acclimatised to the buzzing noises they hear, helping to minimise tinnitus's impact on their day-to-day life.

Tinnitus retraining therapy in NZ works by training the brain to categorise the sounds associated with tinnitus as unimportant and, in time, learn to ignore them. This therapy combines two essential aspects — sound therapy and counselling, both of which are essential for a successful treatment journey. The sound therapy element of tinnitus retraining therapy involves introducing external noises to divert the patient's attention away from the sounds caused by tinnitus. When paired with counselling or education, tinnitus retraining therapy empowers patients to reframe their relationship with their condition, learning to live with tinnitus symptoms.

How Does Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Work?

Tinnitus retraining therapy is used to reduce the perceived intensity of the sounds associated with tinnitus and to help lessen emotional distress related to the condition. To achieve these objectives, the therapy combines two aspects — sound therapy and counselling. So, to answer the question “How does tinnitus retraining therapy work?”, there are two key components that we will break down below.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy involves the use of a noise-generating device to create external sounds. The idea of sound therapy is to use noises that specifically cater to an individual’s tinnitus, decreasing the perceived volume of the tinnitus sound. With ongoing therapy, the brain can begin to classify tinnitus sounds as unimportant, helping the individual to block out the noise and lessening emotional distress.

Counselling and Education

Counselling is essential to tinnitus retraining therapy and shouldn’t be neglected. Counselling incorporates education to help patients understand tinnitus and calm any nerves or fears surrounding the condition. Counselling allows patients to control and change their reactions, decreasing emotional distress and eliminating associated anxiety.

Is Tinnitus Retraining Therapy Effective?

While results will differ from individual to individual, studies suggest that tinnitus retraining therapy is an effective treatment option. Research published in the International Tinnitus Journal reported that the treatment increased the quality of life for over 80% of patients in one year. The treatment doesn’t aim to rid an individual of tinnitus completely; instead, it seeks to reduce the impact and promote a healthier, more stable life. Tinnitus retraining therapy in NZ involves combining both auditory and counselling treatments, and admittedly it isn’t a quick and easy solution. However, the evidence of its efficacy indicates it may be well worth your time investment.

When to Seek Help

If you struggle with persistent tinnitus, you don’t have to battle the condition alone. It’s crucial to reach out for professional advice and get the help you need. If you find that the emotional distress of tinnitus impacts your day-to-day life, it is time to seek help. Tinnitus can severely impact your daily life, both emotionally and by affecting your capabilities to finish tasks and interact with others. If left untreated, tinnitus can begin to impact you physically and mentally.

The good news is it doesn't have to get to that point. Bay Audiology offers consultations with experts experienced in tinnitus management and can help guide you through tinnitus retraining therapy. So while tinnitus can be incredibly frustrating, there are ways to achieve relief and live a normal life with the condition. With tinnitus retraining therapy in NZ, you can stop tinnitus's impact on your peace. 


Tinnitus retraining therapy is a proven approach to managing tinnitus. By combining sound therapy, counselling and education, many individuals see a significant increase in their quality of life and overall comfort living with the condition.

If you are living with tinnitus and looking for some relief, please don’t hesitate to contact Bay Audiology, your partner in hearing health. With our expertise in hearing health, we can help you on your journey with tinnitus

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