How helpful is Tinnitus sound therapy?
Can Tinnitus Sound Therapy hold the answer to make the buzzing or ringing in your ears go away for good?
What is Tinnitus Sound Therapy?
Acoustic therapy or popularly known as the sound therapy has been found to provide relief for tinnitus sufferers. It helps to make the buzzing, hissing, roaring or ringing of the ears less noticeable. The therapy can make life easier for tinnitus sufferers but, unfortunately, won’t treat the condition.
Tinnitus is a condition that makes sufferers hear buzzing, chirping, hissing, or ringing sounds without any external factor. These phantom sounds may affect one or both ears. The condition is not a disease, per se. Tinnitus is quite common worldwide and it could be temporary or last for a lifetime.
The original idea of developing sound therapy was to provide a means of distraction for people suffering from tinnitus. The condition seemed to get manageable when low-level sounds were used as background.
How can sound therapy help?
The use of background noise has been found to help:
- Mask the phantom sounds
- Distract the attention of the sufferer
- Make the background noise a habitual sound as a way to ignore tinnitus
- Achieve neuromodulation or changing the patterns of brain activity
It has also been found that combining tinnitus education and counseling makes sound therapy even more effective.
How is sound therapy used?
The quiet background noise is contained in special devices that you can carry along with you or placed on top of a nightstand or table. An electric fan, a media player or a computer can be used during nights when tinnitus bothers your sleep. A sound generator or an app can be downloaded on your smartphone if you are constantly bothered by the symptoms.
Your specific tinnitus case can use devices geared towards providing relief. The tones and frequencies of the sounds are custom-made for your needs. You can make use of them before bedtime or anytime you need it.
Sound therapy also uses hearing aids. The loud sounds produced by the hearing aids can distract or mask the phantom sounds. Tailor-made sounds can be placed on the hearing aids to suit your particular case.
Your specific symptoms determine the kind of device you may want to use. Some devices may not provide relief if you are sensitive to noises such as a running dishwasher or faucet. Consulting a doctor will help you find the right sound therapy device to use for your particular condition.
There are currently various kinds of sound used in sound therapy devices. They include:
- Radio static. Noise “colors” such as pink and white that have varying pitches
- Instrumental or moderate-tempo music that is meant to distract and relax
- Softly modulated and pulsing tones
- Customized notched sounds or tones to match your particular needs
Is tinnitus sound therapy for you?
The annoying ringing in the ears may be helped with a sound-emitting device worn either in the ear or placed nearby. A study has found that people having the disorder felt less bothered with the help of in-ear devices as they sleep.
The sound therapy supports the idea of training the brain to ignore the tinnitus. The distress felt by all tinnitus sufferers have been seen to become greatly reduced with the volume and sound options given by the sound therapy.
But, is it for you? The best way to find out is to have your doctor check your hearing to find any underlying cause for tinnitus.