-The Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre, London UK -
Jonathan Hazell , Jacqueline Sheldrake
Nicholas Lee, Larry McKenna
the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Site
This site is all about tinnitus (and hyperacusis) retraining therapy (TRT). In the 1980s Pawel Jastreboff, a neuroscientist, now working in Atlanta, worked out the real mechanism of tinnitus. Until then, all the accounts of tinnitus in textbooks said it was all due to ear damage which couldn't be fixed. That is what many people and professionals still believe. It just happens not to be true.
The simple ear model just didn't answer any of the puzzles about tinnitus, and Pawel was able to use his neuro-science (brain-science) background, with a wide knowledge of behavioural neuro-physiology to work out what was really happening. He published the 'neuro-physiological model' in 1990, and this important work has never been effectively challenged or criticized. In fact most of the research since then confirms his hypothesis (prediction). However it does turn what was conventional wisdom on its head (hard for some people).
Once you know that the important parts of tinnitus and hyperacusis distress are NOT due to damage that can't be fixed, then you can figure out treatments that will work. In London at the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre, we started to apply the Jastreboff model as early as 1988, and were the first to use TRT. After 20 years of tinnitus research using every tool know to medicine and surgery, we suddenly got results - that lasted.
Many accounts and treatments of tinnitus are based on outdated ideas. Many of the support groups are simply phobic training camps! Read the articles and references on this site (and Jastreboff's) and make up your own mind.
Some simplified definitions to help you get started!
Tinnitus - not a disease, just the ability to hear sounds generated by the auditory (hearing) system, evidence of compensatory mechanisms that are part of its normal function. The problem is the distress created - not the type of sound.
Somatosounds (body sounds) generated elsewhere e.g. heart sounds, muscle clicks, which become noticeable or instrusive. The problem is the distress created - not the type of sound! see
Misophonia - dislike of environment sound(s). With or without tinnitus! Varies from 'chalk scratching on blackboard' to dislike of all sounds around you.
Phonophobia - fear of environmental sounds. Fear that they may damage hearing or make other symptoms worse...
Hyperacusis - over-amplification of environmental sounds in the auditory pathways. Everyday sounds seem too loud, but other people aren't complaining!
Jastreboff model - a new scientific analysis of tinnitus and hyperacusis.Since 1990 this thesis has never been seriously challenged, and is being adopted and referenced by increasing numbers of researchers and clinicians. It explains clearly and simply all the above phenomena and their close relationships.
TRT - treatment based directly on the Jastreboff model. It uses a precise and individual combination of sound therapy and teaching / demystification / learning about tinnitus and hyperacusis mechanisms, with directions about how to return to normal life without provoking symptoms. 1000+ professionals around the world have attended training courses and many have published identical excellent results to our own (see downloads).
Go to 'How to use this site' first
Any advice given by email or website about hearing disorders must be viewed as a general comment. It is not a substitute for proper medical or audiological diagnosis, and no responsibility can be accepted for the outcome of any health problem on which we may have commented in this way