Debilitating tinnitus

I chose CBT with Mr Hashir Aazh on recommendation from a medical practice elsewhere. My tinnitus was extremely debilitating and I felt stressed and hopeless. I didn’t want to go out or socialise and I thought that my life wasn’t worth living. Over the course of the weekly sessions I was able to build a rapport with Hashir, whose sympathetic but direct approach made me feel supported and understood. This, I felt was key in lowering my anxiety and helping me to feel that as I mastered the personalised techniques, I was in effect taking back some control. All ideas for the techniques were explained in a very comprehensive manner and I could appreciate the science behind the ideas, which helped me to believe in this approach. It is important to commit totally to the programme and it takes some effort at times but I am certainly in a much better place mentally with reduced tinnitus. I consider that I am still a work in progress but I have the confidence to lead my life again and I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks once again to Hashir for the time and patience that he afforded me.

A 40 years old lady wrote

Your advice, patience and perseverance with me at such a difficult time in my journey with tinnitus was, it is no exaggeration to say, life changing. It took some time for the strategies you taught me to sink in and become habit, but they and your encouragement have stayed with me and I’ve been able to reach an internal ‘peace’ and acceptance with tinnitus that I couldn’t imagine would be possible at the time you and your team were seeing me.

Tinnitus after a road traffic accident

I started treatment for my Tinnitus with Hashir back in July after having severe, constant Tinnitus following an accident in October 2020 – It hadn’t improved from then until July and it was having a severe impact on every aspect of my life and mood. Hashir was excellent, the treatment was not easy at all and sometimes seemed a little counter – intuitive, but I there is a massive improvement now treatment is almost finished – There is no miracle cure to the Tinnitus itself but I’m now able to relax, sleep, tinnitus is not affecting my work and my mood is significantly better. There is a huge difference vs. July. It really has enabled me to manage my Tinnitus effectively. And I would encourage anyone who’s Tinnitus is having a strong impact on their life (as mine was) to try CBT based treatment, in particular with Hashir.

testimonial female

A 60 year old lady with tinnitus wrote:

When I started treatment with Hashir I was in quite a bad place with bilateral tinnitus. With his help and support, I’ve managed to get myself in a much better place. I really can’t thank him enough.

A 75 years old patient with severe tinnitus and depression wrote:

Dr Aazh treated me after the sudden onset of severe tinnitus which was both frightening and disabling. His weekly sessions were a lifeline in helping me to cope with my condition – the therapy offered enabled me to start to live with the tinnitus and to the greatest extent to get my life back on track. For me, his greatest asset is his ability to work with the specific situation of the individual, and provide a mental framework to work with which puts the tinnitus in perspective, and in which it can be best managed. I’m very grateful to Dr Aazh and very satisfied with the therapy I received.

testimonial female

A 40 years old patient who received tinnitus therapy wrote:

The process of discussing my tinnitus and addressing the issue head on was helpful for reducing slightly the level of fear I felt around it. It would have been useful to have had more sessions over a longer period of time – to give more time to develop and strengthen the coping techniques & positive counter thoughts. In addition to the CBT, wider discussions with Hashir and knowing I was doing something to address how I deal with my tinnitus was reassuring. I think tinnitus is a very specific condition that is very difficult to appreciate if you have not experienced it or are not an expert in audiology. It is a condition that is with you all the time, at work or at rest; it is inside your own head and feels inescapable. It is not an outside problem or an external issue to be resolved and to have someone understand that and tie it in with knowledge of hearing, hearing loss and hyperacusis etc is extremely important. I have had more general CBT for other issues in the past and think the targeted CBT approach in the audiology department made the CBT treatment as useful and relevant as it could be.

A 50 years old successful business owner with tinnitus and work-related stress wrote:

I made an appointment with Dr Aazh out of despair as I was suffering from the rapid onset of tinnitus. As well as physical examinations, Dr Aazh approach was centred on psychological tests and evaluation and it was quickly discovered that my tinnitus was stress related. Following changes to my lifestyle my tinnitus disappeared quickly and I am extremely grateful to Hashir for his calm, thoughtful and professional approach.

A 58 years old with long lasting tinnitus and hyperacusis wrote:

I have had Tinnitus for many years. To help me handle the condition I had 10 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with Hashir. Each session lasted one hour and as I live many miles away, was conducted through Skype. Each session was well structured and required full participation. I learned a great deal about my negative emotions towards Tinnitus and how I could replace them with counter statements that do not self harm. Using this process I have been able to rebuild my levels of tolerance and ability to cope.

A 60 years gentleman with severe tinnitus started following a head trauma in an accident wrote:

Two years ago I suffered an accident at work which resulted in Tinnitus and brought me to a low point. Fortunately, I attended your seminar at Guildford and was accepted for a course of Cognitive Therapy which I have now completed, both of which were informative and helpful. The Cognitive Therapy was not quite what I expected but I have found it a very positive experience which has in fact had quite a profound effect on my ability to cope and has resulted in many lifestyle changes which I would not have previously contemplated. The Tinnitus is ever present but is much more manageable and I am far more positive about my situation and the future. I believe that you and your team are really making a positive impact on many people who suffer with Tinnitus and by raising the awareness of a condition that is often suffered in solitude.

A 40 years old lady with tinnitus, hyperacusis and sleep difficulties wrote:

After the stress of lockdown in March my long standing, reasonably well managed tinnitus got significantly worse and then hyperacusis started. They were making my life an absolute misery, I pretty much was unable to cope with anything, was bedridden much of the time through exhaustion, couldn’t eat or sleep and felt suicidal. I am very grateful to have found Hashir who over the last 6 months has helped me to regain my life. He took the time to get to know me properly and work out a strategy for CBT that would work for me. He is very knowledgeable and totally understands really how bad a person can feel but what he teaches makes sense. It’s not easy and not a quick fix and you have to put in effort. In fact I believed there was no helping me and that nothing could work for me because I was too broken and my brain worked differently from others. I can honestly say after 6 months, and I saw a benefit well before this, that I am much better. I am coping with life again and the hyperacusis is only very slight and completely manageable. I can actually speak to someone in the same room without feeling like I need to put my fingers in my ears. I have learnt I can get on with my life despite having tinnitus and find enjoyment again. I am sure with more time things will improve further. I also feel the CBT skills I have learnt will help in other areas of my life as well. I would definitely recommend the services Hashir provides, he really understands this complex problem and how best to deal with it.

A 31 years old lady with tinnitus and hyperacusis wrote:

The CBT offered by Hashir has helped me so much come to terms and “live alongside” my own experience of being overwhelmed by Tinnitus in October 2019. It had been a blight on my daily life, driving me to the point of distraction. We are so lucky his clinic is based locally in Guildford. I hope anyone reading this who is afflicted by the stress Tinnitus causes will go seek advice and support, kindness and the treatment from him. Thank you so very much.

A 65 years old IT engineer with tinnitus wrote:

My tinnitus started a year ago and over the next few months just got worse. I ended up in a state where life wasn’t worth living on many days. Luckily a consultant at the Havant Spire hospital suggested Dr Aazh at his clinic in Guildford. I booked and attended an assessment and subsequently booked a course of therapy. I have just finished the sessions and can honestly say I am a different person to the one that first contacted him. I found Dr Aazh extremely sympathetic and understanding and would certainly recommend his therapy to anyone with this horrible condition.

A 43 years old designer with tinnitus that sounded like high-pitched shrill noise coming from the sides of his head. These were constant in pitch but increased in loudness towards the end of the day. He wrote:

Hashir’s clinic was extremely helpful to me during a recent period of struggling with Tinnitus. I was surprised at how few sessions were required to make a significant impact in how well I could manage the symptoms. I would wholeheartedly recommend contacting Hashir if you suffer with Tinnitus.

A 56 years old with low frequency tinnitus in the right ear following a sudden loss of hearing at low frequencies wrote:

Having been diagnosed with Tinnitus, Hashir was recommended to me by the Guildford Nuffield hospital for targeted CBT for tinnitus. Hashir immediately made me feel comfortable and put me at ease. He has helped me manage my Tinnitus and encouraged me to accept my condition, which means I do not have the same anxieties that I had before my sessions. I would have no hesitation in recommending him.

testimonial female

A patient wrote:

Eighteen months ago I suffered sudden hearing loss in one ear due to a virus. The sudden hearing loss was a shock but by far the worst aspect was the constant tinnitus in the affected ear. I felt that it was something I just couldn’t live with and frantically searched for help, but to no avail. Eventually I ended up at the local hospital’s Tinnitus Clinic and the best they could do was offer the advice that it would “get better”, but no suggestion as to how! The only useful thing to come out of it was a suggestion that I look up Hashir Aazh. Hashir used CBT methodology to help me alter my attitude to tinnitus; the best thing was that it was tailored to my needs and at last I had found someone who not only fully understood my feelings but was able to offer some real help. With his assistance I have been able to make a lot of progress and am now able to enjoy my life again. I still have to work at it but have been given the tools to help myself from now on. Thank you Hashir!

A 50 Years Old Patient Who Recieved Tinnitus Therapy Wrote

Having developed tinnitus suddenly in April 2021, I felt completely derailed. I found it difficult to continue my work as a journalist, often felt incredibly distressed and out of control, was exhausted looking after my two young children and pretty much stopped sleeping without medication. After establishing that the tinnitus was probably due to genetic hearing loss, aged 49, my ENT specialist referred me to Hashir. Through his series of online CBT sessions, I have made great progress. Hashir is an empathetic yet firm therapist, and he has ingenious ways of making you realise that tinnitus is just one part of your life and experience, and that it needn’t take over your entire being. I am concentrating on my work again, enjoying my family and friends, and find it far easier to relax – accepting tinnitus as part of my life has proved to be far less stressful than constantly trying to fight it. I would recommend his programme to anyone who has had a traumatic response to this often very confusing condition.


An architect with hyperacusis

I cannot recommend Dr. Hashir Aazh’s rehabilitation program enough. I came to him with terrible hyperacusis that I was struggling to cope with. His program was incredibly useful with exercises that challenge your though processes, and he has a lovely nature that quickly puts you at ease. Eventually the program taught me to live with my hyperacusis, as well as life lessons that I will never forget.

A 20 years old university student with hyperacusis wrote:

Before my treatment with Hashir I was barely able to hold a conversation without being in pain because my ears were so sensitive. I also really struggled to listen to music and as a musician this was very problematic as Im sure you could imagine. I dropped out of university, stopped all of my musical projects and rarely socialised. After I completed the treatment I was able to go back to university (studying music production), socialise more often and can now make music until my hearts content. I would definitely recommend his treatment, it changed my life.

A patient with pain hyperacusis wrote:

I came to see you back in 2019 with pain hyperacusis. You took the time to explain the condition to me and made me see it in a completely different light. You changed my attitude from wanting to hurt those making noises as they were hurting me, to understanding that it really wasn’t their fault. It seems crazy now that I ever hated them for it. Anyway, you pushed me to face the noise. To go out in public. To remove the ear defenders. I’m am so grateful that I did. Within a matter of months I had it under control and within 8 months I was (almost) cured. I say almost because I still get very mild bouts of it whenever I get a head cold. Thank you for everything. The meetings with you was the best money that I ever spent. Keep up the great work..

A 20 years old university student with hyperacusis wrote:

Before my treatment with Hashir I was barely able to hold a conversation without being in pain because my ears were so sensitive. I also really struggled to listen to music and as a musician this was very problematic as Im sure you could imagine. I dropped out of university, stopped all of my musical projects and rarely socialised. After I completed the treatment I was able to go back to university (studying music production), socialise more often and can now make music until my hearts content. I would definitely recommend his treatment, it changed my life.

A 60 years old who experienced severe pain in his ears when hearing day to day noises (a condition which is called pain hyperacusis) wrote:

I was a bit dubious beforehand about treating what I saw as a physical problem with therapy. The treatment I had has made a great difference to the effect that hyperacusis has on me and I am now able to do things and go to places that I could not before.

A 45 years old with hyperacusis wrote:

Hashir is remarkably professionally skilled, patient and thorough in tackling hyperacusis issues. His clarity, dedication and systemic approach instil a lot of confidence and trust. As such I would warmly recommend him to anyone seeking support, not least given the often misleading and/or unsubstantiated information on the subject. With Hashir, you are in safe hands.

A 19 years old university student with hyperacusis wrote:

I received CBT for Hyperacusis from Hashir and have made considerable improvements from the techniques he has taught me. I feel my condition is vastly more manageable and I very much expect to improve further by continuing to practise and implement them. Hashir is very knowledgeable on these topics, explains things very clearly and is excellent at focusing my mind to the path of recovery. Highly recommended!

A 30 years old musician with severe hyperacusis and occasional short-lasting tinnitus wrote:

Having suffered with hyperacusis for 3 months and spoken to several medical professionals, Dr Hashir Aazh was the only person I felt understood the condition thoroughly. Being a leading researcher on hyperacusis, he was able to answer all my questions and deepen my understanding of the problem, which are the big first steps towards getting over it. If you’ve been suffering from hyperacusis, I highly recommend seeing Dr Hashir Aazh.

A 47 years old personal trainer with hyperacusis and tinnitus wrote:

After getting struck with tinnitus and hyperacusis in December I found Hashir in January and commenced on a treatment plan of therapy sessions. I felt having the time to ask 121 questions during most anxious times gave me some well needed solace knowing that Hashir has helped so many others. Hashir is personable and extremely knowledgeable – he has definitely given me hope for recovery which is what I’m working towards with my new found CBT skills”

A 46 years old with right sided tinnitus and balance problems started over 10 years ago. However, 6 weeks ago she developed tinnitus and feeling of aural pressure/fullness and severe sensitivity to sound in the left ear. She wrote:

I was struggling with tinnitus and hyperacusis when I found Hashir after some research. I’ve now had my initial review session and now I’m happy to say we are working together to get me back on track. Hashir’s knowledge and experience are matched by his personable style and I feel I am in the right place to learn the skills I need going forward.


Research on misophonia

I really enjoyed reading this study: Audiological and Other Factors Predicting the Presence of Misophonia Symptoms Among a Clinical Population Seeking Help for Tinnitus and/or Hyperacusis. Having had misophonia for many years, and with a history of physical abuse and violence in the context of a substance abusing parent in my home, it helps to feel validated by your research. Although I have developed tinnitus, I have learned to manage misophonia so well now, that I seldom notice sounds unless I am under severe stress. And the tinnitus is certainly manageable too. With this history and your courses, I feel that I am making a difference in my own patients’ lives – most of whom have some sort of traumatic history. Thanks for the insights.

testimonial female

A mother of a patient wrote:

Working with Dr Hashir Aazh has been a positive and life changing experience for our son and family. Misophonia can be such a poorly understood and under researched area, and we were struggling with the impact it was having on our son’s wellbeing as well as our whole family. After trying counselling with a local therapist and waiting for over a year at CAMHS- with no guarantee of then having a therapist who would then understand misophonia- we found Hashir and after an initial consultation the relief of talking to someone who understood and felt they could help us was huge.
Dr Hashir took the time to really get to know our son, and it became apparent even after the first couple of sessions, that things were starting to ‘get into’ our son’s mindset and change how he was feeling and thinking about his misophonia, but more than that how he saw himself. Working remotely on Zoom/Skype really suited us, and throughout the process it felt as if Hashir really took the time to adapt his practice around us (my son could not tolerate being in the same room as me), building in gaps and stepping back slightly where it was appropriate, or conversely building momentum when things were going well with targeted tasks and sessions closer together. It took a while but working together things are very different now. Our son will continue to live with misophonia, but he understands it now, likes himself again and most importantly knows how to live happily in our family.

A young professional in his thirties wrote:

Underwent the CBT therapy for Misophonia and it has been a major help in my life. Have a much better understanding of the condition thanks for Hashir’s insight and approachable manner and the techniques used for countering it’s effects have been extremely helpful. I don’t feel like it’s ruling my life anymore.

testimonial female

A 21 years old student wrote:

After having struggled with misophonia since childhood without knowing what it was, and feeling like it had become progressively more difficult to deal with, my family and I decided it was time to seek help. Working with Dr. Aazh helped me to understand more about this condition and provided me the tools to manage my triggers more effectively, minimising my symptoms and overall anxiety. After previously having struggled to use public transport, sit in exam halls, or sit at a dinner table without experiencing misophonia symptoms and distress, I am now more able to approach these situations knowing I have the tools to manage my symptoms in a healthy way. The CBT has provided me with a lot more confidence and assurance, and although some days are still difficult, overall, I am able to go about my day to day without misophonia hanging over me.

testimonial female

A mother of an 8 year old child wrote:

Our lovely eldest son developed Misophonia at the age of 8 during the first lockdown. His main trigger was one of his brothers. We’re eighteen months in and it’s been a very difficult journey but we’re finally in a better place. Not because our eldest has been able to overcome Misophonia but because we all understand it and manage it better as a family. We’ve got better at supporting him with it and he has got better at using more effective strategies to try to manage it. A huge part of how we got here is the work Hashir has done with our son and with us. We reached out to Hashir early on when out eldest was a few months into his struggle with Misophonia. It’s such a complex disorder and we were very concerned about the impact on our eldest, the impact on our younger children and had real concerns for our eldest son’s future. Misophonia seemed to be taking a lot of the joy out of his life and everyone was finding the situation incredibly stressful. Hashir started Zoom sessions and helped us all to understand what was going on for our son and to develop strategies to manage Misophonia more effectively. At that point, our son (who is usually calm, non – aggressive) was displaying very challenging behaviours in the home. He was sometimes st ruggling to invoke strategies when he was triggered (understandably). Hashir brought a Paediatric Occupational Therapist on board to help our child with strategies to stay calm and if triggered, how to return to a more calm state. This was also enormously beneficial (we use the strategies to help keep us calm too!). It was really insightful of Hashir to recognise the need for an OT and was part of the tailor – made package he devised for our child according to his specific needs. We’ve come such a long way. Our eldest is no longer working with Hashir but it’s so reassuring for all of us to know Hashir is there and available for us. We no longer feel alone with it all as we did in the early stages and take great comfort in the knowledge that we can contact Hashir whenever needed.

For Hearing Healthcare Professionals