Does Sound Mask Your Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Beth, Mar 16, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      Hi, could someone explain why some people have tinnitus that can be masked by relatively low sound and they generally don't hear it unless they're in a really quiet place, (oh what bliss) while others can use white noise generators at full volume or be in a very noisy environment and still hear it? (That's me.) Near where I live we have a place where there are indoor steam fairground rides in a big tin shed, so you can imagine how loud that is. We had friends staying so took them there and I could still hear my T! If you were in a loud place and someone whispered in your ear, you may not hear the words but you would hear a sound even though it was very quiet so my question is, why can tinnitus not be heard when in a normal environment or is it just that these lucky people have sort of habituated or is it that mine is megga loud? I don't consider it very loud as it rarely prevents me from hearing even quiet sounds but I really don't understand how people don't hear it when, 'walking down the street' which is a comment one person made. Is it just that my brain is focused on it and they manage to 'switch off ' from it? Hope someone has an answer!!:bag:
       
    2. Lisa88

      Lisa88 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hi Beth. Sounds like your t may be somewhat reactive. Mine is like this also. My t competes over white noise and static environmental sounds around the same frequency as my t. So in a quiet room, mine sounds like a mosquito, but over running water or traffic, that same t sound can sound like a racing car. So anxiety provoking.
      The word "reactive" may not be accurate though, because that usually describes t that reacts to such sounds, but then stays loud after the outside stimulus is removed for more than 24 hours. Mine goes back down fairly quickly once the stimulus is removed. They can call this also winding up or kindling t.
       
    3. Beth
      Inspired

      Beth Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      quite a while...
      Hi Lisa88, I hadn't really thought of it like that so thanks for your reply. It's strange but I hadn't thought of mine as reactive, I just thought I could hear it above everything. If someone (with or without tinnitus) was in a noisy room with lots of people talking, TV on, dog barking etc, and someone went up to them and quietly went, 'Pssssssssss' in their ear, it wouldn't be loud but they'd hear it anyway and that's how I think of my tinnitus. Not really loud but a constant frying, whooshing sort of sound which is audible whatever background noise is on. The only time I can be temporarily unaware is if I'm in a powerful shower which is aimed at my head. Trouble is if I live in the shower I'll end up wrinklier than I am already!
       
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