Learn about Tinnitus Masking and Treatment
Tinnitus in simple terms is when you experience ringing or other noises such as whistling, clicking or humming in one or both of your ears. There is no known cure for tinnitus. It is a symptom and not a disease. Fortunately, there are several and numerous types of management options that can help people living with tinnitus.
Since it is incurable, the most effective way of treating tinnitus is through using masking devices that provide a low-level sound, thus blocking out the ringing noises. Patients usually find this sound more satisfactory than their own tinnitus. This sound, whether natural or artificial, can be added into the tinnitus sufferer’s surrounding through continuous external noises which eventually mask the tinnitus.
There are many tinnitus treatments and sufferers can find various degrees of relief and comfort from one or a combination of the following.
- Hearing aids
They are among the most famous and well- evidenced solutions to tinnitus. Tinnitus is often correlated to some level of hearing loss. Thus, quality hearing aids can help to lessen its symptoms and comfort the patients from the stress and anxiety they might face. This makes their conversations and social interactions easier and smoother. Many hearing aids provide different forms of sound therapy as they are programmed with additional masking sounds built in. This exposes the patient to pleasant and calming sounds that reduces the presence of tinnitus, making him forget it.
Wearing a modern and up-to-date hearing aid is usually an applicable tinnitus treatment. The hearing aid settings for tinnitus is different than the standard settings, so your audiologist will help you program a wider tinnitus treatment.
- Ear-level masking devices
These are similar to hearing aids and are worn in the ear or behind it. They are electronic devices that provide the patient with continuous white noise, hence repressing tinnitus. This white noise masks the internal noise caused by tinnitus. Your audiologist will help you choose the most effective sound that is comfortable and doesn’t interfere with your hearing for other sounds.
- Environmental noise generators known as tinnitus maskers
They are not wearable, but the sounds can be played through inbuilt speakers, earphones, sleep headband or pillow speakers.
They are mostly helpful at night and in quiet and calm environments, which is why they are used when tinnitus interferes with your sleep or concentration. They come with hundreds of sounds, but the common ones are ocean waves, rain drops, waterfalls, or wind.
There are many free smartphone apps that function similarly to noise generators. Your audiologist can suggest the best one.
- Widex Zen therapy:
This program is available in most Widex hearing aids. It is a free app to download and easy to use. It offers you relaxing and soothing Zen sounds through a sounder player. These sounds target those who desire listening to specific sound backgrounds in quiet, such as at the end of the day or a break during the day.
This therapy tool can be used in tinnitus treatment program prescribed by licensed audiologists who are well-trained in tinnitus management.
It can be used with Widex hearing aids or with a set of headphones.
In these methods of treatment, the goal is to detect a proper masking level for tinnitus in order to manage it rather than just live with it. You can probably tolerate mild tinnitus with occasional symptoms. However, constant tinnitus can be dangerous and might enormously affect your everyday life. Discovering different ways to manage it can greatly enhance your quality of life.