The ringing in your ears can become so annoying that it disrupts conversations and your ability to concentrate. Your doctor and audiologist can talk with you about various devices that will help you cope with the ringing. Some devices sit on a countertop while others are worn like hearing aids. Here is the technology available to help you better cope with your tinnitus.
Tinnitus can be triggered or made worse by other sounds around you. Noise suppression devices attempt to mask the sounds that might trigger the ringing in your ears. You'll first have an evaluation of your hearing so the doctor can determine the frequencies at which your tinnitus is triggered. Some of these devices can be adjusted to match that frequency and produce sounds that mask your tinnitus.
White Noise Generators
This is the simplest of the devices and can be purchased at many stores or online. These machines sit on your table or nightstand and produce various sounds. You often have the choice of nature sounds, such as a waterfall or ocean waves. The sounds may be recorded sounds or digitally produced. Digital devices produce an array of sounds that you can experiment with, such as an oscillating fan or the rumble of a jet engine. These devices are not adjustable, but many people with tinnitus find them helpful when trying to sleep or read.
Noise Masking Devices
These are more sophisticated devices that are worn like hearing aids. They can be adjusted to various frequencies to mask sounds that might trigger your tinnitus. The sounds they produce blend in with the other noise so you can't distinguish them apart. Since your mind can't separate the sounds, it eventually ignores both of them. These devices are good for use at work where you need to concentrate on your projects or conversations with others.
Audio Retraining Devices
Instead of white noise, these devices produce musical tones that match the frequencies of your tinnitus. The tones make it hard for you to focus on the ringing, so your mind learns to ignore all of the sounds. You'll have to wear this device for a period of time while your brain learns to filter out the sounds it wants to ignore. During that time, you'll visit your doctor or audiologist to adjust the hearing aid to produce just the right tones.
This is a class of devices that work by training your brain to control the physiological responses to your tinnitus. You'll initially wear a device that monitors several parameters, such as blood pressure and heart rate. These values increase as a reaction to the tinnitus. They also make you feel stressed and irritable. You'll learn to reduce those values while wearing a biofeedback device to measure your progress. Unlike the other device that focus on the sounds, once you've learned to control your body's response to the tinnitus, you'll no longer need the biofeedback device.Share
16 March 2016
My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.