Cognitive Behavior Therapy

As there are no particular treatments for hyperacusis, many researchers believe that cognitive behavioral therapy done in a multidisciplinary setting, could be beneficial. This mode of treatment includes relaxation methods, advice regarding sound, and gradual exposure to everyday sounds.

Hyperacusis refers to a condition when a person can’t tolerate any sound. Those suffering from hyperacusis, feel pain in their ears by any sound. This vulnerable disease can attack anyone through various ways. Some people develop hyperacusis over a longer period, whether some one gets that after hearing a heavy sound. In this modern era, medical science has advanced a lot. As a result, there are several ways to cure Hyperacusis.

‘Cognitive Behavior Therapy’ is a relatively brief psychological treatment, aimed at identifying and modifying maladaptive behaviors and cognitions by means of behavioral change and cognitive restructuring. The cognitive behavioral treatment of hyperacusis includes ten components presented in six modules on a weekly basis for six weeks. The first week’s module includes a treatment rationale and the first step of ‘applied relaxation’ or ‘tense-relax’. In the second week, there is the continuation of the ‘applied relaxation’ and this stage also includes ‘positive imagery’ and ’sound enrichment’ by means of external sounds, hearing tactics and advices regarding ‘noise sensitivity’. The last two components are optional. The third week’s module involves the ‘controlled breathing’ which helps to reduce negative thoughts and beliefs, related to tinnitus. In the fourth week, the techniques of ‘differential relaxation’ and ‘behavioral sleep management’ are taught. In the fifth week’s module, the process of ‘rapid relaxation’ is practised. It is basically an advice regarding ‘concentration difficulties’ and includes exercises to increase concentration. The last module in the sixth week includes a random practice of ‘applied relaxation’, ‘relapse prevention’ and a summary of the contents of the treatment program.

There are homeworks for the patients in all modules. Weekly reports on a web page are to be submitted by the patients. After the submission of a week’s report, the patient usually gets an e-mail along with the instructions to move to the next module. Statistical reports say that there are remarkable developments found in the patients of hyperacusis after they are treated with ‘Cognitive Behavior Therapy’.

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