Today I had a follow up appointment with Melody from Nanaimo, BC. Melody has been bothered by tinnitus for the last few years. She mentioned it to her doctor, who referred her to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, who then referred her to the Audiology clinic at St. Paul's hospital in Vancouver.
The Audiologist at St. Paul's referred her to me in Victoria to manage her tinnitus. Thanks to her persistence with this issue she found me and we went over her issues and decided to manage her tinnitus using Widex Zen Therapy. Widex is a hearing aid manufacturer that has a way of using what's called a fractal tone to manage tinnitus.
The problem with tinnitus isn't the sound itself, but it is the autonomic nervous systems reaction to the sound that we try to address. This "fight or flight" system is keeping the central nervous system on high alert all the time due the "threat" that it perceives the tinnitus to be. It is a bit like moving into a house near the train tracks. The first night you wake up thinking the train may crash into your house because it sounds so loud. The autonomic nervous system wakes you up to this threat,...the first night. The next night, you body allows you to sleep through the train noise because it has habituated the signal. Now we have just hit on the key word in this whole process: HABITUATION. This is different than getting used to it. When habituation happens, the autonomic nervous system is no longer telling the brain that there is a threat. And the tinnitus can "release its grip" so to speak.
Melody's appointment today was a ray of sunshine and a text book case of habituation success.