More than 50 million Americans struggle on a daily basis from the insufferable sensory processing disorder called tinnitus. Tinnitus, ringing in the ears, used to be thought of as a strictly physical problem of the ears. Researchers now know that it is a symptom of an underlying brain dysfunction and linked to anxiety and depression which can make the symptoms ebb and flow. Dr. Trish Leigh has helped tinnitus sufferers regain their quality of life by turning down the noise.

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What is the most effective treatment for Tinnitus?

Neurofeedback Therapy, a long-proven effective treatment of brainwave regulation, is successfully used to treat patients with tinnitus. Sensors are connected to the person’s head on the brain areas that are identified as dysfunctional. Dysfunctional brain areas are known to causes symptoms. Neuromodulation, or changing of those underlying patterns has been shown to alleviate tinnitus symptoms. Through this process, those areas are taught to perform better using advanced neuro-scientific techniques that are pleasurable to for the sufferer. When the areas perform better, the brain essentially rewires itself and symptoms go away. Once a brain is rewired it will stay that way permanently.

At Leigh Brain and Spine, when tinnitus sufferers join the center for care, they report a long road of treatments that didn’t work or trying medications that often made their symptoms worse. Tinnitus treatment through Neurofeedback involves relaxing in a chair while the computer gently modulates the areas that are affected in your brain. This treatment is non-invasive, meaning it doesn’t put anything into you, it teaches your brain to work better. Gently rewiring the brain, through Neurofeedback Therapy, feels good to the patient as the symptoms abate, making the experience and the outcomes desirable.

How is Tinnitus diagnosed?

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Traditional evaluation and assessment of tinnitus involves an evaluation of hearing and movement and usually is heavily based on patient history of the onset and progression of the tinnitus symptoms. One of the most sophisticated ways to determine the root of tinnitus is to use Quantitative Electroencephalogram (qEEG) Brain Mapping technology to identify the areas of underlying neurological dysregulation. In most cases, the temporal lobes, which are responsible for auditory processing, are impacted and are associated with the noise that people hear in their ears. Basically those brain regions are not processing the sound properly in turn keeping the sound on, instead of turning it off. You can see the hots spots of auditory processing in the qEEG Brain Map here indicated by white.

How can I reduce my Tinnitus?

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be significantly reduced by regulating the underlying brain pattern that is associated with the symptoms. Brain patterns cause symptoms. When the brain is rewired, the symptoms reduce. Neurofeedback Therapy at Leigh Brain and Spine is a relaxing experience that patient’s come to look forward to, not only because their symptoms decrease, but because it feels good too.

What causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is caused by neurological dysregulation of the brain areas that are associated with chronic pain and sound, thus resulting in chronically painful noises. Patient history can add to the information gleaned from a qEEG Brain Map to determine if the tinnitus is related to temporal lobe dysfunction, frontal lobe dysfunction, anxiety, or depression.

Is Tinnitus a genetic disease?

Tinnitus is not a disease at all, it is a symptom. It is a symptom of an imbalance in the brain that makes chronic sound perceptible to the sufferer. It is also associated with the brain patterns that cause anxiety and depression.

Tinnitus is not new. There are references on Egyptian papyrus that date back to 16th century B.C. with references to “whispering, humming, and singing” in the ears. Many famous people across history are known to suffer from tinnitus including Joan of Arc, Beethoven, and Charles Darwin, who kept a daily log of his tinnitus experience.

A new study, however, has determined that 10-15% of tinnitus sufferers may have a genetic link to the condition. Bilateral tinnitus in men has been associated with a hereditary predisposition, but as in all cases nature (heredity) is strongly fueled by environment and life choices (nurture).

Call Leigh Brain and Spine at (919) 401-9933 for a FREE consultation in our Chapel Hill – Durham facility with Dr. Trish Leigh who has helped many tinnitus sufferers get the peace and quiet of their lives back.

Leigh Brain and Spine is proud to have earned the distinction as a Certified Brain Health Coach Center and is a proud member of the Amen Clinics referral network.