Hi All — Bi-Lateral Tinnitus — I Wear Sound Generators, Anyone Else Find Them Helpful?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Deborah West, Dec 21, 2018.

    1. Deborah West

      Deborah West Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss
      I have bi-lateral tinnitus and wear sound generators. Does anyone else use them? Find them helpful?
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI @Deborah West

      I am a user of white noise generators and have used them for 22 years and find them very helpful. They must be used correctly in order obtain maximum benefit.

      I see on your Avatar that you have hearing loss? If this is correct are your white noise generators dual purpose? By this I mean, do your white noise generators also incorporate hearing aid/s to treat your hearing loss? Ideally your hearing loss should also be treated with a hearing aid/s as this will usually decrease the tinnitus over time.

      White noise generators are normally used as part of TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy). Please read the text below for information on how these should be used. If your hearing loss is significant this should be treated with a hearing aid/s or dual-purpose white noise generators.


      What is TRT and when should it be started?

      TRT or Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, is what it implies: Through regular counselling sessions there is a gradual retraining of the way a person thinks about tinnitus and to treat it as non life threatening. There are two parts to this treatment. Counselling and sound therapy using White noise generators and a sound machine at night by the bedside.

      At first the therapist discusses with the patient how the tinnitus makes them feel and how it has impacted on their life. Often people say they have lost interest in the things they once liked doing, which is perfectly understandable. The main goal here is to gradually help them look at life differently and with a more positive outlook. Over time the negative thinking that is often associated with tinnitus and hyperacusis is gradually dispelled and demystified.

      The Hearing Therapist does this in a controlled and precise manner so that the patient feels relaxed and not pressured. In many instances the tinnitus is gradually pushed further into the background making it less prominent. Therefore, it must be stressed and understood, this treatment takes time. To complete a course of TRT takes approximately twelve to twenty four months and in some cases longer. The duration of each counselling session is left to the discretion of the Hearing Therapist. Typically, these can last up to one hour or more. The amount of appointments required will be different for each patient, but it is quality rather than the quantity of the counselling that really matters.

      The second part of the treatment requires the patient to wear two white noise generators for up to ten hours a day. They are first put on in the morning and the white noise set to just below the tinnitus, and then left alone. It can be tempting to turn up the volume when out on the street as traffic noise can make it difficult to hear them. Please don’t do this. Constantly adjusting the wngs volume will delay the habituation process. Over time the brain habituates to the white noise generators and pushes the tinnitus further into the background where it becomes less noticeable. This cannot be successfully achieved if the wngs is repeatedly adjusted throughout the day.

      While the auditory system is being treated with white noise it is gradually being desensitised and treating the hyperacusis. White noise generators should not be used when going to sleep at night. When retiring one should use a sound machine by the bedside and the volume adjusted to a level just below the tinnitus. The sound machine should be set to play throughout the night until morning and this provides the brain and auditory system with sound enrichment.

      There are a few misconceptions about this treatment and the way it is administered that some people misunderstand which I want to address. If a patient is given one white noise generator to wear this is not TRT. When two wngs are issued and no tinnitus counselling is offered on a regular basis, it is not TRT. I am not saying that a patient will not gain any benefit from the above treatments; I only want to state they do not follow the proper Tinnitus retraining therapy protocol.

      When should TRT be implemented or started?

      The following is based on my own opinion and therefore is not professional medical advice. The onset of tinnitus can be quite an emotional roller coaster for a lot of people, and I believe a person needs time for this to settle. Many people habituate within the first 6 months to one year of the onset of tinnitus without any treatment. If a person just has tinnitus without any additional symptoms, such as dizziness, deafness or balance problems I think a period of six months should elapse before starting a long-term treatment such as TRT.

      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. glynis

      glynis Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Welcome to Tinnitus Talk @Deborah West .
      I found White noise generators really helpful in my early years with tinnitus and now wear hearing aids with a masker setting.

      love glynis
      • Like Like x 1
    4. GregCA

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Uncertain, now very somatic, started with noise?
      It may be that masking with white noise helps one and not the other. Maybe it also depends on the type of tinnitus.
      But since subtyping of tinnitus is largely ignored by science... only self-experimentation remains.

      To me: If my left ear hisses, it is louder than the white-noise tinnitus mask of the hearing aids.

      In the meantime I doubt anyway that the hearing aid therapy is the right approach in my case...:(

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