Progressive Tinnitus Management (PTM) is a patient-centered approach to Tinnitus management that uses both sound therapy and counseling. It has a structured approach on how to use sound, but is very flexible regarding the types of sounds that can be used.
Progressive Tinnitus Management follows a 5 step hierarchical plan:
- Triage – making the appropriate referrals according to the needs and concerns of the individual
- Audiologic Evaluation – relevant diagnostic testing, including hearing aids if appropriate
- Group Education – discussion of self-management strategies within a group setting
- Tinnitus Evaluation – provides an in-depth interview to determine if further individualized management is necessary
- Individualized Management – a customized tinnitus management program
In terms of sound, there are 3 classifications of sound typically discussed during the educational counseling steps (step 3 and step 5):
- Soothing sounds – these sounds help produce a sense of relief from the stresses of the tinnitus
- Background sounds – these sounds help in reducing the contrast between the tinnitus and the background acoustic environment. In addition, these sounds aid in passively diverting attention away from the tinnitus.
- Interesting sounds – in contrast to background sounds, these sounds aid in actively diverting attention away from the tinnitus.
An important component of PTM is the active role of the patient. The individual needs to identify problems and offer input on how to best manage these concerns and determine lifestyle changes. As it is important for the individual to be in control of managing their Tinnitus, there is often benefit in using wireless accessories that facilitate this control. Wireless accessories allow the user to more easily control the types and volume of sound being streamed to their hearing instrument.
Michael Piskosz discusses Progressive Tinnitus Management in detail in his article “The Role of Wireless Streaming in Tinnitus Management