Tinnitus and TRT | British Tinnitus Association

Name of treatment

Tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT)

Type of treatment

Educational counselling and use of sound therapy

Claims for treatment

Reduces/eliminates the tinnitus percept. 

How treatment is delivered

A specific protocol for delivering educational counselling and sound therapy is followed. Many practitioners follow modified forms.

Potential negative consequences The literature describes no negative side effects. TRT in its classic form is delivered privately, so cost may be an issue.

Evidence offered:

Papers available

2 (1 considered in the Cochrane review[1])

Conclusions drawn

A single, low‐quality randomised controlled trial suggests that TRT is more effective as a treatment for patients with tinnitus than tinnitus masking.1 A further randomised control showed that TRT was more effective than standard care.[2]

Quality of evidence[3]


Does the BTA recommend this treatment?


BTA opinion on this treatment:

TRT has been very influential on tinnitus work, but has been poorly researched.

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

Yes, if high quality study. An updated systematic review would also be beneficial.

Verdict: Safety – is this treatment harmful?


Generally regarded as safe

Verdict: Efficacy – does this treatment work?


Limited evidence of effectiveness.


Research on this protocol is of poor quality.

[1] Phillips  JS, McFerran  D. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) for tinnitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD007330. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007330.pub2..

[2] Bauer CA, Berry JL, Brozoski TJ. The effect of tinnitus retraining therapy on chronic tinnitus: A controlled trial. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2017;2(4):166–177. Published 2017 May 28. doi:10.1002/lio2.76

[3] A = Systematic review/meta analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands

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Published 15 April 2019

Information currently under review April 2022

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

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