Frequently Asked Questions

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Is there a cure for tinnitus?

Oto is a mobile app that teaches you how to take control of your tinnitus using the latest clinically proven techniques. Oto is available on both iOS and Android.

If there isn't a cure, can Oto really help me?

Yes. Oto’s daily therapy introduces you to a toolbox of techniques that can help. It includes CBT, mindfulness, physical exercises, and relaxation, all designed to help you manage better everyday.

What's CBT and how can it help my tinnitus?

CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

It’s a type of psychological therapy that was originally used to treat to depression, but since then it's been proven to help with lots of other conditions, including tinnitus.

CBT helps us understand negative or unrealistic thoughts or beliefs that can make tinnitus worse. It helps you break the downwards spiral by changing them and guides you to a place where you feel more in control. That way, tinnitus becomes less bothersome and you’re more able to focus, rest, sleep, socialise and so on.

What's habituation?

Have you ever been on a long car journey, or gone any distance in a boat or aeroplane? When you first get into the vehicle, the noise of the engine and the busy road outside is really noticeable. The noise is new so your brain is busy making sense of what’s going on.

After a while though, you forget about the engine noise and traffic. You can tune into music or a conversation, without noticing the other constant sounds around you. Your brain knows the sound isn’t dangerous and stops drawing your attention to it.

That's habituation. Where your tinnitus noise is so normal that you barely notice it anymore.

How long will it take for me to habituate?

Everyone hears and responds to their tinnitus differently. Often habituation happens gradually and many people are surprised when they realise that they’ve gone long periods without noticing tinnitus.

In general, research says most people notice a significant difference between 6-18 months. Oto’s early survey found 86% of users felt better after just one month of using the app.

How will I know Oto is working?

There are a number of different ways to measure the impact of tinnitus on your life. These include:
• how intrusive it is
• how easily you relax
• how well you sleep
• your ability to hear others
• how often you have feelings of anxiety or stress

You’ll know when Oto starts to work for you. Maybe you’ll notice your tinnitus less, or it might seem softer. You’ll probably find it easier to sleep and concentrate. Overall you’ll experience more ‘good’ tinnitus days than ‘bad’.

Have patience. Gently remind yourself that you can learn to manage your tinnitus, and keep going.

Will I ever get better?

When we first hear tinnitus or if we have been told ‘there’s nothing you can do about it’, it’s hard to believe that it will ever get better. However, experience and evidence shows that most people can learn to manage tinnitus.

Habituation is possible with the right support. It takes time and effort to learn how, so don’t give up. You can do it.

Will I ever sleep again?

Yes. When you first experience tinnitus it can be a real shock and, at first, most people find it hard to sleep. However, you will be able to rest again. Oto teaches you techniques that will help.

Is there a sound I can listen to that will help me sleep?

Oto’s sleep sounds are made up of carefully designed soundscapes, all designed to help you drift off. Everyone is different though and you might prefer listening to a story, or environmental sounds. You could look into getting a sound pillow or headphones for sleep so that you can enjoy the sound without disturbing anyone else.

I can't cope with tinnitus. What do I do?

You are not alone. There are people who can listen.

The first step is to make sure you visit a medical professional to tell them about your experience.

There are also a number of online support groups, including Oto’s.

You can see the BTA’s support groups list for the UK and the ATA’s support groups list for the US here.

Perhaps you could call a friend or family member to share a bit more about what you’re experiencing? Keep working through Oto’s therapy step by step. The therapy there will guide you to a place where you feel more able to cope.

Can Oto help if I have hyperacusis?

Hyperacusis is a specific condition. It means that you are extremely sensitive to certain types of sounds at particular volumes.

Not everyone with tinnitus experiences hyperacusis, but it’s not unusual to have both. If you think this might be you, make sure you’ve told a medical professional about it.

Oto has some sessions designed to help you manage sound sensitivity as well as a library of relaxing sounds for you to enjoy.

About Oto

Who is behind Oto?

Oto's founders, Dr Edmund Farrar & Dr George Leidig, have both experienced tinnitus personally and professionally.

During their time as doctors in the military and the NHS, they saw the frustration and struggle caused by waiting months for any kind of professional help. That's why they decided to build Oto.

Oto's therapy program is developed by Anna Pugh, an award winning Tinnitus specialist with decades of experience treating people with tinnitus.

What does Oto mean?

Oto is a medical prefix that means 'to do with the ear'.

How can I join the support group?

We have a supportive, moderated Facebook community for people with Tinnitus or related conditions.

Join Oto's Tinnitus Support Group to share your knowledge and methods that best work for you in relieving your tinnitus to help others.

Receive regular tips and tricks from the expert team at Oto.

The App

Does it really work?

Oto's therapy is created by experts and teaches you how to take control of your tinnitus in a scientifically proven way.Healthcare professionals around the world recommend psychological therapy as being the first-line treatment for people struggling with tinnitus-related distress.

Oto aims to take all these proven therapies and condense the best of them into a single app. When surveyed, 86% of our users experienced benefits in a number of areas after just 1 month.

Is Oto suitable for me?

Oto is suitable for anyone with tinnitus, whether you notice it occasionally or it’s all you can focus on day and night. Make sure that you’ve been diagnosed by a medical professional in the first instance, as sometimes there’s a treatable condition causing the tinnitus.

If you’re really struggling, remember that Oto is not a replacement for in-person therapy and it’s important to see a medical professional if you’re experiencing thoughts of self harm or suicide.

What is the time commitment?

Set aside five to ten minutes a day for practice.

It's fine if you can't do it every day.

How can I download Oto?

You can sign up for Oto here.

You can also download the app through the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play store (Android).

How do I use the app?

The home screen in the app will always show your next therapy session, as well as a quick link to your favourite sleep tools.

Many of our customers find that one therapy session per day works well for them.

You can also use the menu to select from all available therapy sessions, as well as browse the sound library for relaxing sounds to help you focus or get to sleep.

Where do I start in the app?

We've designed our therapy sessions so that you can gradually learn about habituation and uncover tools to help you along the way.

We'd suggest starting at the beginning of the daily therapy sessions; the first one displays on your home screen, and come back to continue your journey each day.

How often should I use the app?

Many of our customers find that listening to one therapy session per day works best for them.

If you feel like you need a little bit more on a given day, that's fine. You can top-up your learning with a session from the practice room, or use one of the relaxing sounds to help you unwind.

How does the practice room work?

The practice room is filled with content to help you find out more, and develop the things you’re learning in the daily therapy sessions.

You can use these to refresh your knowledge, practice the techniques that will help you when you need them, or to give you some extra support when you're having a tough day.

Should I use headphones?

It's up to you! Just make sure that the volume is set at a safe, comfortable level.

How can I change the background sound?

You can browse sounds from the menu at the bottom of the app. From there, you can play sounds and set which of them you'd like as your new background sound.

What's the best way to reach you if I need help?

We love to hear from our customers. Please get in touch with us if you need help using the app or if you have any feedback. Just tap the [?] icon in the Oto app.

If you need medical advice about your tinnitus we recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional.

Who can I talk to about my tinnitus?

Although we are happy to chat with you, we're not a replacement for a medical professional and we can’t give medical advice.

We recommend you speak to your healthcare professional if your tinnitus has changed recently or you are experiencing extreme distress. Your family doctor might put you in touch with a specialist.

You might also find a support group helpful. Check out Oto’s Facebook Support Group.


How can I start my 7 day free trial?

You can sign up for your 7 day free trial to see how Oto can help you.

All you need to do is create an account, answer a few questions about your goals, and complete your payment setup. If you decide that Oto is not for you right now, you can cancel your free trial within 7 days and you will not be charged.

Can I really cancel anytime?

Yes. You are not tied into a contract and can cancel anytime (for example, if your tinnitus isn't bothering you anymore!)

How do I cancel my subscription?

If you signed up on our website, you can cancel your subscription in the settings of the Oto app.

If you signed up from within the Oto app, your subscription will be managed by your app store. Click here for help.

How can I request a refund?

Please get in touch with us if you need to request a refund.

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