A practical question on masking

Discussion in 'Support' started by Nich, Jun 27, 2014.

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    1. Nich
      Batty

      Nich Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Arkansas
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2014
      So far I've not masked at all. I have the radio turned on really low at work but if I got it close to the volume of my T it would bother others. But I think a little masking is needed to help me focus better. I sit signing out for 6-7 hours a day. And I tend to do good for the first 3.5 hours but then it starts getting to me and I become reactionary. I was thinking maybe I could mask the sound some and maybe it would help? It would require ear buds or headphones. But I'm unsure what sounds I should try and if there are any ear buds I could still hear through if someone came in my office to talk to me? So far I've only noticed a couple things that mask the T. The shower, a loud exhaust fan in our bathroom and a mixture of road noise and the radio in the car. My T is super high frequency sounding. Like if you've ever heard some electronic device give off a high pitched squeal that's what it is like. Any suggestions?
       
    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hi @Nich. If you search this board, you will find a lot on masking. Some people feel masking thwarts habituation because you are covering your tinnitus, vs listening to it to the point that you and your brain ignore it. Me, I think if you keep your masking sounds below your tinnitus volume and don't mask all the time, it's fine. I am a journalist. So I have some days, like you, where I am writing for hours on end When I do, I often mask. Helps me concentrate.

      I am doing the Neuromonics sound therapy right now, so listen to that device vs mask. But before, I used the TM Soft White Noise app on iTunes. Has multiple sounds and a program where you even can combine them. Just give them a test run and your ears will tell what sounds they like. App is only about $10. And there also is a free downloadable masking track here on the TT home page.

      You will see mixed opinions here on TT about headphones but I don't think they are a problem. After all, sound therapies like Neuromonics are delivered through headphones (my device uses high quality Bose ear buds). Just keep the volume low enough and you can hear people. My masking headphones are Seinhesser sport headphones with ear pieces that rest lightly inside the ear but aren't inserted like ear buds. It is designed to be used as a smart phone headset, so you can easily hear what is going on around you.

      I am sure others will have suggestions. Given your work, I think you might give masking a try.
       
    3. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      If you have high pitch T like mine, then you need things like shower, heavy rain, waterfall, rapids, crashing waves (the continuous type), faucet or tap etc. etc. I think if the sound bother you to the point of making you stressful or emotional, then you need masking, even temporary masking or partial masking. By that I mean not blocking out the entire T sound. This way you can get used to it among other competing sounds.

      I used to need masking at bed time (a CD player), on the go (an ipod with ear buds), and at work (PC). For the ipod I just bought the cheap ipod nano and download some high frequency nature sounds (rains, waves etc) from Amazon.com. I used Itune to load the sounds to the ipod. This is a super light ipod so I can go anywhere with ear buds to mask my T. Nowadays any android based mobile phone should get you free APP for sound generator software. For my PC, I download a free sound generator called 'Aire Freshener'. You can google it to download a free copy. It has many types of sounds to choose from. At work, I just told my colleagues that I have ringing ears with pitch 10 times the pitch of a dentist drill 7/24 and that I needed masking with ear buds plugged to my PC. They don't understand how much T can hurt, but they can relate to the unpleasant sound of a dentist drill, LOL. So they were OK for me to put the ear buds on at work during those early days when I couldn't survive without masking (and meds too).
       
    4. Nich
      Batty

      Nich Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Arkansas
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2014
      Thanks for the responses and I will look into the apps and neuromonics. I'm getting to where I can live with the T when I'm off work. It would just be nice to maybe spend an hour or two without having it drilling into me at work. I follow the same cycle every bad day. It's always a loud day. Then the longer I sign out with it the more stressed I get and about 2-3pm I have to start fighting serious anxiety/panic. I think a little masking might go a long way to helping on bad days.
      On vacation I'm going to sit down and do mindfulness meditation everyday just listening to my T and I hope to continue it when I come back. I'm still scared that if I listen to it or pay it attention it will get louder or change or other 'what ifs'. Unless it goes (please God) it's gonna be a part of me and I need to explore it or else I'll always be afraid of it. On vaca I figure I'll have the extra mental energy to start this (as I figure it'll be really difficult at first) so I'm going to try. And, I'm getting on an SSRI when I get back from vaca until I get this thing under better control.
      In other news this AM it was GONE for about the first 20 minutes I got up. I heard silence again and it was so amazing. People without T just cannot understand how life altering the loss of silence is. Until 2 weeks ago I didn't. My T came back sometime while I was getting ready and has been really quiet so far. But I'm so thankful for those 20 minutes. I get them everyone once and a while. Always in the morning. What a blessing.
       
    5. citigirl13
      Dreaming

      citigirl13 Member

      Location:
      North Yorkshire, England
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/1/14
      T disappearing for a while - even 20 minutes - is definitely a good sign - it is one of the best signs for it to go completely. Fingers crossed that happens to you.

      Masking is a great way to avoid listening to T. I used it a few times when I was trying to sleep, and to be honest it just relaxed me. It had nothing to do with the T. If you are getting stressed out at work, please try masking. Try a combination of sounds until you get the right one. Once you have it on, focus on your work and try to completely forget about the T. You will find it easier the more you do it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK, Fareham
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      I'm not using headphones at all at the moment as I'm only 3 weeks into tinnitus so I'm trying to do everything I can do to keep it temporary.
      I think I'll probably have it forever but who knows.
      Anyway I may use headphones in the future. If I do I would avoid noise cancellation and ear buds you insert into the ear.
      The way I look at it, is if they aren't noise cancellation or ear buds inserted, then it's just like day to day noise.
      Also you'll still be able to hear people talking if you bought a pair like this http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003CQE2M6/?tag=tinntalk-21
       
    7. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      I agree with @citigirl -- if you already are having periods where your tinnitus disappears, you very likely may have this go away, @Nich! Or it will pretty much fade into the background where you rarely notice it. Much good news here.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1

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