Does Masking Tinnitus Make It Worse?

Discussion in 'Support' started by LovesToTeach, Jan 6, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. LovesToTeach
      Chatty

      LovesToTeach Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/pregnancy/stress
      I notice that after listening to white noise or similar ambient sounds, my T is worse... Anyone else notice this?

      And do you think masking ultimately delays habituation? Trying to decide if I should face this beast head-on or make it more unnoticeable despite the spikes...
       
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    2. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Yes. I really hate to say it but it makes mine worse.
       
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    3. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      If you H in there, or SRT ("sound-reactive T") indeed it can...Sure does with me! Not an iota of a doubt....Ummmm, though maybe I should be clear too, that "masking" currently is not really an option anyway as it would have to be so darn loud to "mask" that it would be "auditorly detrimental" to any willingness on my behalf to not go deaf. :eek:

      Best, Zimichael
       
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    4. LovesToTeach
      Chatty

      LovesToTeach Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/pregnancy/stress
      Thank you! My T is definitely reactive to outside sounds. A fan or furnace sound is like a hot poker in my left ear! White noise helps while I'm listening but isn't worth the subsequent torture spike. Ugh!
       
    5. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      My tinnitus is also very reactive and it hates many types of sounds, especially mechanical noise and even music.:( However, I also hate listening to my tinnitus so when it is loud or I am otherwise upset, I will use soft water sounds to get my mind off it. So you might want to experiment with water or other nature sounds, played low. You'll know if they bother your tinnitus.
       
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    6. Zimichael

      Zimichael Member Benefactor

      Location:
      N. California
      Tinnitus Since:
      (1956) > 1980 > 2006 > 2012 > (2015)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ac. Trauma & Ac.Trauma + Meds.
      LTT...you may find the Hyperacusis section helpful if you have not been in there yet...and this thread may offer some tips and understanding if new to you: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/tinnitus-vs-tinnitus-hyperacusis-some-basic-differences.5110/
      Best to you, Zimichael
       
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    7. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
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    8. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Have you ever tried soft pink noise using wearable ear level devices with open molds?

      stephen nagler
       
    9. LovesToTeach
      Chatty

      LovesToTeach Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/pregnancy/stress
      I have not, but I will look into that! Thanks Dr. Nagler. I'll try anything at this point...
       
    10. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Interesting, because that's the very first thing most any clinician with experience in this field would have recommended. Good luck with it.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
    11. Joseph Harney
      Worried

      Joseph Harney Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Hi, i experiment with various sound from youtube. Fan, Water, nature, running water, rain sounds, b-17 engines, stoves, you name it they have because they are so many sufferers of T really trying to help. You have to find the ones for you.
      Don't play it too loud - i play it just enough to hear it. Sometime i use some to sleep. Some even last for 1 to 10 hours, but you can chose.
      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tinnitus sound therapy&spfreload=1

      Some sites have over 4 million and more hits. This goes to show you how many of us are out here with T looking for sounds the ease us.

      I really hope this helps you.
      These are the ones that work for me I'm sure you will find yours.
      Sleep Bomber : Sound of a B-17 Airplane Engine...

      Tinnitus sound therapy 6 Hours

      10 Hours Rain and Thunder Healing Ambient...
       
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    12. MarkD
      Fine

      MarkD Member

      Location:
      Sydney, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Absolutely white noise makes my T worse. I find the best remedy is to find things to do, a new project, a new hobby or interest to get your mind off it. This allows you to become habituated while minimizing the psychological trauma. Over the course of time your T may diminish or you'll become habituated and have accepted it as a normal biological function and nothing to worry about.

      I just spent 2-3 months working on a couple of projects and forgot I even had T and only started hearing it now once i listened for it. The human body has an amazing ability to habituate to noises or symptoms it once thought foreign and unbearable.

      But I do appreciate this can difficult to accept in the early stages as you come to terms with this change in your life.

      I think those listening devices that you put in your ear could be cool also because you can use it and forget its even there. So if you need some assistance, they are a good option because they don't continually remind you of your T and allow you to go about your life like normal.
       
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    13. Joseph Harney
      Worried

      Joseph Harney Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      I agree - also try to stay busy. My T is on now. But i try to stay busy - ebay, Hobbies, Friends on skype, Here, masking sounds ( low level ) going to the corner store to chat, picking my wife up from work just to get out of the house, playing world war 2 PC games on-line with other ( Warthunder, World of tanks ( with the volume low )). This distracts me when someone is trying to ice me in one of these games.
       
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    14. LovesToTeach
      Chatty

      LovesToTeach Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/pregnancy/stress
      Thanks so much for the helpful advice, everyone. At this early stage my T is all I focus on, at work, socializing, etc. I have this (probably futile) hope that either once my ears drain, ETD resolves, or I give birth, this T will go away too. But, with each passing day it seems here to stay. The loud and extremely high-pitched hissing in my left ear is by far the worst - I'll gladly put up with the quiet tones in my right ear instead! But until then, these suggestions are so helpful. I have an ENT appointment next Friday, so we'll see what comes from that.
       
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    15. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      Did you see this http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23152235
       
    16. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Thanks, @Christian78. Seems like the conclusion of the study is: what really sucks is not necessarily masking itself but the quality of tinnitus research. Gotta agree with that.

      Masking definitely isn't for everyone. It helps me tremendously, but only certain sounds work. White noise makes my tinnitus worse. Pink noise and nature sounds are much better. Also very light classical music. For me, that is. @jazz has a good suggestion; experiment with different sounds on low volume.

      I don't think there is any research that shows masking heeds habituation, but some have that opinion.

      Oh, and hang in there, @LovesToTeach. You have not had tinnitus for very long. It could very well go away. In the meantime, you are wise to look for safe ways to help you cope.
       
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    17. Christian78
      Alone

      Christian78 Member

      Location:
      Gothenburg
      Tinnitus Since:
      (Sep 2013)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      progressive tinnitus, time of expiring in next 3-6 months
      you know @Viking got much worse tinnitus and hearing loss from masking in 15 days... and well i get on my 4200 euro widex zen problem they are too loud
       
    18. AlecP
      Procrastinating

      AlecP Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (I think)
      @LovesToTeach I kind of find that when my laptop fan is working in overdrive, my T will be much louder after I turn it off. It usually settles down again pretty quickly, fucking annoying though :/
       
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    19. undecided
      Fine

      undecided Member

      Location:
      Greece
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown.
      I was never a fan of masking.
      I mean, doctors universally agree that listening to loud music does progressive damage to the ear, yet a lot of them recommend masking as a way to help with tinnitus. I don't get it.
      I've asked lots of ENTs about it but they have yet to come up with any sort of convincing answer. Now I just ask them for the heck of it. Still amazes me how clueless they are.
       
    20. LovesToTeach
      Chatty

      LovesToTeach Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold/pregnancy/stress
      I am listening to nature noises when up with my newborn at night - it helps without worsening the T. Love crickets and running water! Any high pitch noise sets it off though, and I've noticed more fleeting tinnitus episodes in the past few days. Still will always hope the T is temporary - but right now it's driving me bananas! The baby keeps me very busy, which helps!
       
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    21. Viking
      No Mood

      Viking Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italia
      I confirm it! The "phisichan" who sell this type of habituation are uninformed and proceed negatively in their practice.
      There are studies that clearly demonstrate that the masking is not for everyone. Others studies even advise against the use of maskers or hearing aids. The big negative problem is that Jasterboff and others sellers told about an "85% of success" but they don't talk about the remaining 15% and expecially don't talk about that the masking IS NOT A CURE but a way for the habituation. Then you can pay 2000 euros or plus for habituation or better don't spent this money and work on yourself (like me and more others) with fisical exercise, psicotheraphy, and more other useful resources than trt can offer.
      In my opinion, trt, hearing aids for minimal hipoacusys, are only business, and the worst thing is that if the patient does not improve, the "doctors" prescribe SSRI and Benzodiazepines. This is a very serious thing.
      There is every reason for a formal accusation of malpractice.
      Best wishes!
       
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    22. labrat10687

      labrat10687 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
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    23. 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
      Seems to vary on the individual this.

      For me I prefer an active treatment rather than the passive idea of masking.

      I personally feel that it's better to engage your brain and train it to listen to a different noise (one that is designed for you, not just generic noise). That way you are actively a part of making yourself better.
       
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    24. Kevin08
      Balanced

      Kevin08 Member

      Location:
      Vancouver Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      9/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection
      Wow hearing loss from masking? What's you theory on this? Was it too loud? I mask daily though I'm trying to move away from fans and to more natural quite sounds.
       
    25. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey @Steve H: I had an well-known Florida inner ear surgeon, who himself has tinnitus, tell me the same thing. He said either customized or light instrumental music with a variety of tones (he preferred classical) was better than white, pink noise, or other stuff that is a constant frequency.

      I mean, doctors universally agree that listening to loud music does progressive damage to the ear, yet a lot of them recommend masking as a way to help with tinnitus. I don't get it.

      Also, as there seems some discussion about loudness and masking: Loud noise does damage the ear. Which is why your masking music/noise should never be loud. I was told I need to listen to it at a level that is lower than my tinnitus or a volume I could just barely hear.

      And anyone who would tell you masking cures tinnitus is a charlatan. It simply eases the symptoms. Sound therapies like TRT and Neuromonics don't cure it, either. At this point, nothing does.

      And good luck, @LovesToTeach. Your post gave me a nice mental picture of you with your beautiful new baby, listening to nature sounds through the night.
       
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    26. 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
      Without wishing to call out the various treatment protocols I believe that this is their weakness. They develop one single thing, test it and roll it out. The majority of audio based treatments have a very narrow scope.

      I guess that the reason that truly customised masking and sound therapy doesn't happen with clinical devices is that an audiologist wouldn't know where to start. It's almost a musicians job to find just the right sound or combination of sounds. We all react in different ways to sound so it really demands a broad range of possibilities from a device if it is to be genuinely helpful.
       
    27. Viking
      No Mood

      Viking Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italia
      I haven't a theory but 2 audiograms who show my hearing loss before the use of masking device and after! If i found it (i've too much clinical refertation) i will shot some photos and show to you!
      Best wishes
       
    28. Dutchy
      Not worthy

      Dutchy Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neuronmodulation suggests noise induced?
      I always use the rain method,always liked sleeping while it rained and now it silences my T too.
       
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    29. Matt01

      Matt01 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      28/11/14
      I guess it might depend on severity, but I very quickly came to the view that complete masking isn't a good thing. I have completely stopped masking at night now.
       
    30. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      So @Matt01, hope you don't mind if I ask you these questions. Several people at TT have expressed similar opinions and I am curious...

      First, what do you mean by "complete masking"? Masking that is loud enough that you can't hear your tinnitus at all?
      And why do you think its not a good thing, and worked on stopping it completely at night?

      Thanks.
       

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