A blog from Tinnitus Week sponsor, Widex
Widex Zen Therapy – A Holistic Approach to Treating the Symptoms of Tinnitus
Widex Zen Therapy is a comprehensive tinnitus management programme which, since its introduction in 2012, has provided people with tinnitus with a promising option to help to reduce the negative impact the condition can have on quality of life.
Several factors can impact a person’s tolerance and ability to deal with tinnitus. Every individual reacts in a different way (much like pain – some have a high threshold, whilst others have a low threshold). Treatment is therefore much more than just a physical treatment.
Widex Zen Therapy takes a holistic, individualised approach to the management of tinnitus by incorporating four components which all contribute towards how individuals may be affected by the condition.
Key to managing tinnitus, is a person’s perception of their condition. Tinnitus can trigger negative emotions such as fear, annoyance, grief (at loss of hearing or life before tinnitus). Counselling allows individuals to understand these emotions, change the negative interpretations, understand triggers and how best to cope with their symptoms, as well as set realistic expectations.
Many of those suffering from tinnitus also have hearing loss. Amplification can be used to stimulate the ears and brain to reduce the contrast between the surrounding sounds and the tinnitus. Hearing aids, amplified sound from environmental influences, music, or sound from noise generators can all be effective in decreasing the perception of tinnitus.
Fractal Tones (Widex Zen)
The patented Zen program generates Fractal (Zen) tones inspired by the relaxing effect of certain types of music. Zen plays random, chime-like tones that can be used for relaxation and for making tinnitus less noticeable. Zen is individualised according to an individual’s hearing loss and takes background noise into consideration. Zen is available in all of Widex’ newer hearing aids, including the award winning WIDEX MOMENT™ range.
Stress is a common aggravator of tinnitus – relaxation and stress reduction, through specific management exercises, are vital elements in effective tinnitus management. Sound also helps you relax. The Zen program, along with the Widex Zen app, which includes exercises and tips, provide effective relaxation techniques.
For some people, counselling and the use of Zen may help with reclaiming your life. The effect of using Zen can be immediate, but for most it will take some time. Various studies examining the efficacy of Zen Tinnitus Therapy have shown a progressive reduction in Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) score – this is the extent to which tinnitus is affecting a person.
The majority of results show that the greatest reduction is within two months of starting treatment and these improvements can be seen for at least 12 months. Your hearing care professional will help you set realistic goals and can adjust the Zen program, if needed.
Read more about the efficacy of Widex Zen Therapy.