DIY Sound Therapy — Need Some Advice

Discussion in 'Support' started by MisterD, Jul 1, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. MisterD

      MisterD Member

      I'm suffering from T in my left ear at a frequency of around 12.5khz, and it's destroying my life. I've been seen by an audiologist and she said she'd provide me with a white noise generator, but was very vague about what it would do, and how long the treatment would take. And months later, I haven't heard anything more (I'm in the UK, and the NHS is like that - things just fizzle out if you don't keep pushing and pushing).

      Anyway, rather than wait for that, I've thought of trying neuromonics, but can't afford the small fortune they charge for the treatment (and it isn't available here in the UK anyway), so I'm going to try to do it on a DIY basis.

      I've read a few posts here describing how others have done it, but they all leave out important details about the method, which is why I need some advice.

      As I understand it, you first listen to music that has white noise, at your T's frequency, mixed in with it. You do that two or more hours a day. Then you switch to the same music without the white noise.
      So I'm going to rip some of my CDs using a lossless format for maximum quality, get some white noise and trim it so that it's only the T's frequency (I was going to use the program Audacity for that), then combine the two, again using Audacity.

      The problem is, there are variables here that I need to pin down:

      1) How far to either side of the T's frequency does the frequency of the white noise have to extend?

      2) How loud does the white noise have to be in comparison to the music? The same volume? Half the volume? And since classical music is recommended, and classical pieces are noted for having loud passages next to very quiet ones, do you make the white noise a certain proportion to the loudest passages or the quietest?

      3) If you have T in only one ear, do you only put the white noise on that track?

      4) As I said, I'm thinking of using Audacity to get the right frequency of white noise - I was going to record some of the white noise it generates, then trim its frequency using its graphical equaliser. But this is a bit rough and ready. Is there a website that allows you to make white noise at a frequency you can tailor yourself?

      I'll make a confession here. It's been many months since I first thought of doing this DIY neuromonics, and I've been putting it off. In fact, I've been putting off trying any treatment at all. The reason is that I have clinical depression, and the added burden of T means I'm always in a very despairing mood. In turn, this means that I am afraid of trying any treatment in case in doesn't do anything - I'd rather live in a state of thinking 'I'll try this one day - you never know, it might do some good'.

      I'm saying this because, if I go ahead and do this DIY neuromonics, I want it to be as near to the 'real thing' as possible, so that if it doesn't work, I can at least cross it off my list without wondering if it's because I hadn't done it properly.

      Any advice and information people here can give will be very gratefully received. Thank you.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hi, @MisterD: I am in a Neuromonics program now. I am afraid I can't answer your questions. But one thing I did want to point out: Neuromonics, when done properly, includes counseling from a properly trained professional. (The counseling part is very important I would recommend to anyone considering Neuromonics that they not go with any provider who just wants to hand them the device).

      So what you describe above wouldn't be DIY Neuromonics. It would be DIY sound therapy -- which some here have done and some have benefited from. Have you checked out the thread on DIY Acoustic Neuromodulation and/or the General Fuzz web site, which is mentioned on this thread? This may be a good route for you.

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...-do-it-yourself-guide.1469/page-13#post-53759

      I know what you mean about being afraid of trying treatments because you don't want to be disappointed. But I figure I will keep checking out anything that appears reasonable and safe, at least at this point.
       
    3. Frederick86

      Frederick86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2009
      @MisterD If what you want is a real sound therapy, there's much better options than neuromonics or trt stuff, those don't lower the volume, they just work with your reaction to it.

      To really lower the volume, look in this same forum for two options: Acoustic Coordinated Reset (ACRN) if your T is just one pure tone (the paper states you can achieve till 50% reduction in some months), or White Notched Noise, if you have one or more tones, which has reached till 15db (till 75%) of improvement in several months.

      Both treatments have DIY versions in this forum, ACRN has a site created by @generalfuzz and there is a thread to explain White Notched Noise in the DIY way, besides links to the official treatment site in case you want better support.

      I myself I'm considering WWN as it is the most effective thing by now, but as my T is a bit complex (intermittent, somatic modulation, several sounds, winds up, etc) I'm helping the somatic part a bit and now starting to really see which are the really auditory based sounds. I'll also consult Dr.Dalton of Dichonics, he has a treatment for repeated temporary supression which has been proved by MEG scans.

      My point is, neuromonics and habituation based stuff is a thing of the 80's, don't settle for that if you can try to reach real volume reduction with modern sound treatment.
       
    4. MisterD

      MisterD Member

      Dear Frederick86

      I was very interested in your reply (and thanks very much for taking the trouble, BTW).

      I'm puzzled by your saying that neuromonics doesn't actually lower the volume, but only alters your reaction to it, because the post that got me thinking about trying it reported differently. It was by someone who called himself 'GaryG', who used CDs to which he'd added some white noise at his T frequency.

      He wrote, "Within 10 days of starting to listen to the CDs, I realized a notable drop in tinnitus volume, to a level not achieved since its onset in December 2005. I continued my own "program" for two months, occasionally missing a day and occasionally coming up short of two full hours (some days I would listen for three), and for most of those days I was much less aware of my tinnitus." So, I'm a bit puzzled at what you say.

      The main reason I'm writing this, though, is to ask you about White Notched Noise. My high T is a bit 'fizzy', so I would guess it is not a pure tone (though at such high frequencies it's hard to tell one tone from a cluster of tones). As such I did consider White Notched Noise. But I've a problem. As I understand it, the notch has to be of one octave surrounding your T, that is, it must stretch half an octave below the T frequency and half above.

      But the trouble is, when I used tones of various frequencies on headphones to match my T and find its frequency, I found it to be 12-13khz...BUT, when I tried frequencies above 13khz, I'm not sure if I could hear them.

      So my question is, how great a range of frequencies do you have to be able to hear above the notch to make White Notched Noise work?

      I'd be very grateful if you could give me your opinion. Thanks.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    5. Frederick86

      Frederick86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2009
      @MisterD As I understand it, I think that is very different from neuromonics as they don't mix the music with the exact, steady tinnitus frequency as that guy did. I've read similar experiences but those must work due to neural plasticity of the auditory cortex, not habituation as neuromonics. Habituation based therapies just work with limbic reactions, so any sound that lowers the contrast between tinnitus and silence is considered useful (and this is why neuromonics and trt are ways of ripping money to achieve the same effect that you got naturally after some years of tinnitus, which is just that you hear it without wanting to smash your head all of the time). Those approaches can't lower the volume, as the abnormal disbalance at the tinnitus frequence/s can't be corrected without somehow targeting the specific frequences.

      About white notched noise, it can be useful with tinnitus till 13khz, which is the maximum "notchable" frequency on white noise. The notches are not exactly an octave, I think it's a bit less for best effect, and there is the formula and more details on the paper:

      http://www.tinnitusjournal.com/detalhe_artigo.asp?id=48

      As your case is complex and you have more than one tinnitus sound, you could want to talk with @Peter Phua, one of the guys at audionotch.com. He told me that more than one sound can be notched, although this is experimental, studies to this moment have been made with one only notch per sound file. And if I remember right, they or someone else was developing a procedure for making wider notches for non-tonal tinnitus.
       
    6. Frederick86

      Frederick86 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2009
      @MisterD Oh and also you may want to join the "UltraQuiet Theraphy" thread, is on this same page of the forum and there are several users talking about doing a DIY approach to it, as the company is a bit in stand by at the moment.

      That therapy would use an approach similar to Dichonics, prolongued cortical inhibition, which would give you several minutes or even hours of silence followed by some more hours of reduced volume. And the time of reduction is supposed to grow a bit more the more you use the therapy.
       
    7. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hi @Frederick86, you and @MisterD clearly know much more about sound mechanics than I do. But I did want to mention that I believe my Neuromonics Oasis device does target my frequency. The embedded signal was created after extensive testing for my frequency and pitch. That may not be true (I don't know) for the Neuromonics Sanctuary program, which is about half the price.

      Having said that: I think that some people will be able to get just as good as results, or better, with the sound therapies you are discussing. And it will cost them a lot less money. I have been on Neuromonics since November and I would say my volume is less at certain times -- but probably because I perceive it as such, given habituation includes calming one's reaction to tinnitus. And I agree that no doubt some of my progress is due to the passage of time.

      If anyone is having serious anxiety issues, they might benefit from coupling their DIY sound therapy with some sessions with a good cognitive behavioral therapist. While counseling is part of a properly run Neuromonics program, it is not all that I had hoped. I did CBT at the same time, on my own.

      I support tinnitus patients trying whatever management programs are safe, that they can afford, and that they think will help them. But I do think people should remember that there is no large body of independent research supporting the effectiveness of any program out there at the present time -- including Neuromonics. (If I am wrong, I hope research guru @jazz will correct me!)
       
    8. mcauth

      mcauth Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Good information here above. I've got some perspective on the DIY therapy, white noise, etc. - note that I'm focusing on "notching" the white noise, which is different than other audio therapies out there but has a favorable foundation of research and worked for me personally in a life-altering way.

      1) White noise doesn't need to be tailored per-se. It's essentially the presence of every frequency at a consistent rate across the spectrum.

      2) Your frequency is really, really high. I've only dealt with one other person up over 12kHz, and they got results so it's probably worth a shot - use your discretion, as usual.

      3) When you generate the white noise in Audacity, you'll want to 'notch' around (1 octave wide) your particular frequency. In other words, your frequency is at the center of the notch or band rejection filter's range. Then listen to that notched track for a few hours a day if possible. Over time your T may fade, but results definitely do vary.

      I've written the process up here, including a tool to help you find your frequency (on page 2):
      http://www.notchtherapy.com

      And I've written a free white, brown and pink noise generator here (for masking while you work, etc.):
      http://noise.notchtherapy.com

      I hope you find it useful.
       
    9. SickoMicko
      Arsewit

      SickoMicko Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection or the medication to cure it.
      @Steve H, I was looking at an older post dealing with Neuromonics and other similar devices that haven't been proven effective or have very little effect on the condition and are crazy expensive( I know how expensive because I purchased one). You had mentioned that you could duplicate what they try to do if you had access to a person's audio gram, and would make that available to that person. How would you be able to do this, what would be the cost, and most importantly are you still willing and able to do this? No demands, or begging, just wanting some relief if that's possible. Thanks! Mick

      Thank You whom ever responded to my posts. Mick
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    10. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
    11. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Hi Mick, sorry I took a while to see this.

      I can duplicate most audio stuff, I don't have a sample of neuromonics to work with, but if I can get that and a proper idea of what they do then I can duplicate it. There wouldn't be any cost.

      Steve
       
    12. SickoMicko
      Arsewit

      SickoMicko Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/02/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection or the medication to cure it.
      Steve, thanks for responding to my inquiry. I am not really sure what it is I am looking for. I wondered after reading your posts on that thread , if I could get you a copy of my audio graph chart that maybe you could create sounds that are in my frequency loss that could be listened to that would send signals that I have lost to me brain and maybe quiet it down a bit. I am a 1% as far as my condition is concerned, reactive T and H(which has gotten better). My condition is 24/7 and at 8-10 v level. I have to say the Neuromonics is a distraction when I'm using it, but as far as lessening the condition I don't think so. I truly believe they give the same tracts to everyone, no individual personalized adjustments. I don't know if you can do this, want to do this, but it you can and would be willing to try, let me know and maybe we can figure it out (then I'll owe you one). Thanks. Mick
       
    13. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Messaged you Mick so we can work on things in a PM.

      Any DIY things that are universal we can put into the free downloads section on here, which is newly created, just put requests into the thread there and I'll pick them up.
       
    14. Paul Burdett

      Paul Burdett Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brisbane, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Hi Steve,
      According to my audiologist report I have a 'notch' at 6KHz. Could you help with relevant sounds? happy to pay you.
      Cheers,
      Paul
       
    15. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Hi Paul,

      There's no question of any money changing hands, I'm happy to help where I can, I get paid for my day job and that's enough for me. I'll do my best to help you and see if we can find something that works. I'll message you and take it from there.

      Steve
       

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