The role of sound therapies in tinnitus care

Helen Pryce, Shameela Munir

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter, comment/opinion or interview


Providing audiological care to people with tinnitus remains a challenging task. People with tinnitus vary in important ways, including their diverse preferences for treatment,1 making the translation from research evidence to clinical care particularly challenging. Sound therapies are a commonly used intervention from which people with tinnitus often report getting benefits. These interventions use sound to interfere with the detection of and attention to tinnitus sounds. They have been used in audiological care of tinnitus for many years and include devices described as ‘maskers’ to conceal tinnitus, environmental and phone apps that provide ambient sounds, and ear-worn sound generators.2-5 To date, much research on sound therapies assume that neuronal changes using devices would provide permanent alleviation of tinnitus. Sadly, there is little evidence to support this. The evidence base for sound therapies as an effective intervention to reduce awareness of tinnitus is relatively weak. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence in the UK does not recommend sound therapy as a treatment due to a lack of compelling evidence that sound helps tinnitus.6 Yet, sound therapies are still widely used and often reported to provide anecdotal benefit.7-8
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-15
Number of pages2
JournalThe Hearing Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2021


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