Hanyang Med Rev.  2016 May;36(2):120-124. 10.7599/hmr.2016.36.2.120.

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

  • 1Soree Ear Clinic, Seoul, Korea. earclinic@hanmail.net


According to the Jastreboff's neurophysiological model of tinnitus, if negative associations are attached to the tinnitus signal, tinnitus is perceived to be a threat or a danger and it activates the autonomic nervous and limbic systems. Consequently patient's awareness of tinnitus is heightened and so patient perceives it to be louder and more persistent. Jastreboff and Hazell started tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) based on the neurophysiological model of tinnitus. The purpose of TRT is blocking tinnitus from activating the sympathetic nervous and limbic systems (habituation of reaction) and from reaching the cerebral cortex (habituation of perception). TRT is composed of two components directive counseling that tries to reclassify tinnitus into the meaningless stimuli and sound therapy that decreases the relative strength of the tinnitus signal. Physicians try to put patient's tinnitus into the territory of meaningless stimuli through retraining the brain (habituation of reaction). Because the brain habituates all unimportant stimuli, if habituation of reaction is fully achieved, habituation of perception will follow automatically. In most clinical results, clinical success rates of TRT approach or exceed 80% improvement. Early improvement can be achieved during the first few months, followed by additional progressive improvement. It should be recommended that the patient continue treatment at least 18 months.


Tinnitus Retraining Therapy; Tinnitus; Sound Therapy

MeSH Terms

Cerebral Cortex
Directive Counseling
Limbic System
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