Neurofeedback Treatment for Tinnitus

Neurofeedback Therapy is an effective treatment for tinnitus.

Tinnitus, a Latin word meaning “tinkling or ringing like a bell,” is a condition characterized by noises or ringing in the ears when no actual external sound exists. A very common disorder, it is estimated that tinnitus affects about 1 in 6 people or roughly 50 million Americans. The severity of the ringing sound varies greatly in patients and can range from a dull or quiet background sound to levels that are louder than external sounds and cause problems with hearing. Twenty percent of those affected report a significant reduction in quality of life.  Tinnitus can be linked to sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating, generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and depression.

Studies have shown that patients suffering from tinnitus can experience abnormal brainwave activity spread across many areas of the brain. By treating the affected areas with neurofeedback, the brain slowly and naturally returns to its normal and regular state.

After neurofeedback, tinnitus sufferers have reported a long-lasting significant reduction in symptoms as well as improved quality of life.

Case studies show that neurofeedback therapy can help patients improve the symptoms of tinnitus, and sometimes eliminate them entirely.


35% of patients that use neurofeedback to treat their tinnitus report improved symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Hearing loss
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Vertigo
  • Inner ear cell damage
  • Head and ear injuries
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud noises


Investigating the Efficacy of an Individualized Alpha/Delta Neurofeedback Protocol in the Treatment of Chronic Tinnitus

Neural Plasticity; Volume 2019. doi: 10.1155/2019/3540898
Dominik Güntensperger, Christian Thüring, Tobias Kleinjung, Patrick Neff, Martin Meyer

First attempts have demonstrated that the application of alpha/delta neurofeedback in the treatment of chronic tinnitus leads to a reduction of symptoms at the group level. However, recent research also suggests that chronic tinnitus is a decidedly heterogeneous phenomenon, one that requires treatment of distinct subgroups or even on an individual level. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate an individually adjusted alpha/delta neurofeedback protocol.

Following previous studies, the delta band fixed between 3 and 4 Hz was chosen as the frequency for inhibition. However, unlike the previous studies, the frequency range for the rewarded alpha band was not fixed between 8 and 12 Hz but rather individually determined according to each patient’s specific alpha peak frequency (IAF). Twenty-six chronic tinnitus patients participated in 15 weekly neurofeedback training sessions and extensive pre-and post-tests, as well as follow-up testing 3 and 6 months after training. The main outcome measures were tinnitus-related distress measured with the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) and Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ), tinnitus loudness, and pre-and post-training resting-state EEG activity in trained frequency bands. In results, the neurofeedback protocol led to a significant reduction of tinnitus-related distress and tinnitus loudness. While distress remained at a low level even 6 months after the completion of training, loudness returned to baseline levels in the follow-up period. In addition, resting-state EEG activity showed an increase in the trained alpha/delta ratio over the course of the training. This ratio increase was related to training-induced changes of tinnitus-related distress as measured with TQ, mainly due to increases in the alpha frequency range. In sum, this study confirms the alpha/delta neurofeedback as a suitable option for the treatment of chronic tinnitus and represents a first step towards the development of individual neurofeedback protocols.

Review and Current Concepts
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 2017 Dec; doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00386
Dominik Güntensperger, Christian Thüring, Martin Meyer, Patrick Neff, Tobias Kleinjung

An effective treatment to completely alleviate chronic tinnitus symptoms has not yet been discovered. However, recent developments suggest that neurofeedback (NFB), a method already popular in the treatment of other psychological and neurological disorders, may provide a suitable alternative.

NFB is a non-invasive method generally based on electrophysiological recordings and visualizing of certain aspects of brain activity as a positive or negative feedback that enables patients to voluntarily control their brain activity and thus triggers them to unlearn typical neural activity patterns related to tinnitus.
The purpose of this review is to summarize and discuss previous findings of neurofeedback treatment studies in the field of chronic tinnitus. In doing so, also an overview about the underlying theories of tinnitus emergence is presented, and the results of resting-state EEG and MEG studies are summarized and critically discussed. To date, neurofeedback, as well as electrophysiological tinnitus studies, lack general guidelines that are crucial to produce more comparable and consistent results. Even though neurofeedback has already shown promising results for chronic tinnitus treatment, further research is needed in order to develop more sophisticated protocols that are able to tackle the individual needs of tinnitus patients more specifically.

Review our Sources

Neurofeedback is supported by over 50 years of positive research and clinical trials.  Below are some examples, and see the reverse for abstracts:

  1. Investigating the Efficacy of an Individualized Alpha/Delta Neurofeedback
    Protocol in the Treatment of Chronic Tinnitus 
  2. Neurofeedback for Tinnitus Treatment – Review and Current Concepts

How do you know if this can help me or my loved one?

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