Name of treatment

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing

Type of treatment

Eye movement therapy

Claims for treatment

Reduces tinnitus perception and distress

How treatment is delivered

(EMDR) is psychotherapy that involves various elements and attention to the past, present and future. Part of the treatment includes bilateral stimulation, such as rapid movements of the eyes from side to side.[1]

Potential negative consequences

No serious adverse effects were reported in clinical trials with tinnitus patients.[2]

Evidence offered:

Papers available


Conclusions drawn

Both completed clinical trials suggest EMDR is effective in reducing tinnitus distress.1,2 However, these trials are small, and no randomisation was applied.

Quality of evidence[3]


Does the BTA recommend this treatment?


BTA opinion on this treatment:

Initial studies are promising. Further randomised controlled trials are necessary.

Would the BTA support further studies into this treatment?

Yes, provided the study is of high quality.

Verdict: Safety - is this treatment harmful?


Regarded as safe

Verdict: Efficacy - does this treatment work?

Limited evidence of effectiveness

[1]  Phillips J, Erskine S, Moore T,  Nunney I, and Wright C. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing as a Treatment for Tinnitus, The Laryngoscope, 29 January 2019.

[2]  Rikkert M, van Rood Y, de Roos C, Ratter J, van den Hout M. A trauma-focused approach for patients with tinnitus: the effectiveness of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing - a multicentre pilot trial. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2018;9(1):1512248. Published 2018 Sep 11. doi:10.1080/20008198.2018.1512248

[3] A = Systematic review/meta analysis. B = Randomised control studies. C = Cohort studies. D = Case control studies. E = case studies/reports. +/- to be used to indicate quality within bands

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Updated 25 April 2019

Information currently under review April 2022