How Often Do You Mask?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Amelia, Dec 27, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Just wondering...?
      I pretty much mask 100% of the time when I'm at home - even with 2 children some of the rooms are just too quiet for me to be in without my masking sounds.
       
    2. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      I have my empty:) fish tank going on all the time in the living area.
      No way I would survive without it.
      Other times I may just put a bit of white noise on my phone, when hiss is bad and I'm at the back having coffee
      So all in all I mask a lot.
      Probably not ideal but.....:(
       
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    3. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Haha! I actually told off my hubby when he fixed out leaking toilet - the running water was a great masked in the bathroom
       
    4. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      I prefer to 'enhance' my sound environment, rather than merely masking my noise.

      I gather that if I continue to mask, this isn't giving me brain a chance to grow bored with my t.
       
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    5. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Nowadays 100% of the time when at home. A fan going on or something like that. Doesn't completely mask my tinnitus (which should be good like @DebInAustralia said above), but gives relief in the form of enriching the sound environment.
       
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    6. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      I guess I should say I "enrich" sometimes then too ... Not loud enough to completely mask it, but loud enough to take my mind off the ringing
       
    7. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      That's the theory, but I'm not sure it's ever actually been formally studied.

      Be that as it may, I think masking is a greatly under appreciated mechanism for dealing with tinnitus. It might not be for everyone, but if it provides the comfort and relief you seek, I'm all for it.

      Dr. Jack Vernon would have loved this thread.

      stephen nagler
       
    8. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      yes it should blend with your t...I think? am I right?
       
    9. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      In my opinion it should do whatever it needs to do to provide you with the relief you seek.

      Below is a little article I wrote several years ago about tinnitus masking.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       

      Attached Files:

    10. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      I prefer mild sound enrichment eg. a computer fan is enough to kill my left side tinnitus 80-90%. My right side tinnitus is to some degree reactive to certain types of noise and has a life of its own in any event, but I have had it since birth and so it does not bother me too much...

      My overall bilateral tinnitus is no longer loud, and for sleeping, I go to bed without any type of masking/sound enrichment and I can stay asleep the entire night. Not so 1½ years ago...
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    11. Ray Seddon
      Amused

      Ray Seddon Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Western Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unprotected hearing damage - highpowered firearm, open-cab tractors...
      I prefer to use the word 'distraction' rather than masking, because I'm unable to mask my singing white-noise T (it's too loud), but I distract myself from it so I don't notice it. I use sound a lot - all night and in quiet times. I have mp3 players on which are white and pink noise, plus a few sounds such as rain, streams and crickets. These play in repeat mode all night. I get a lot of relief from this (almost total), and have been able to sleep through the night. However, recently I have noticed some change - I will often wake in the wee hours because the 'relief' sound has become too loud (it has actually woken me, not my T!) and I have to turn down the volume of the player because it is over-riding my T, even though when I went to sleep it was not, but set at a level below that of my T. In the morning of course Me Ole Mate T is back with a vengeance, but if I am busy I am able to ignore it. After 29 years and a recent increase in T volume, I think I am again winning most of the time. (I use earphones on the bike with music and in movies I use the same earphones but not plugged into anything, and that works well for me). Very interesting thread guys. Thanks Dr Nagler - your wisdom and knowledge is appreciated.
       
    12. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @Dr. Nagler

      Do you use masking sounds or sound enrichment in your home / work environment?
       
    13. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      No, actually I don't.

      My tinnitus is extremely loud, like a cross between a screaming teakettle and a roaring jet turbine 24/7. But I no longer care. So, since I no longer care, there is no reason for me to purposely try to mask it or use some sort of sound enrichment. I sleep in a totally silent room because I like sleeping in a silent room. but if I preferred having some background sounds around me, then that's what I'd do!

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @Dr. Nagler

      Thank you for your reply.
      Getting confused somewhat though.
      You say not to be in totally silent rooms as this puts a strain on the auditory system yet you sleep in totally silent rooms.
      You also say to use sound enrichment yet you dont do this.
      Please explain why you suggest that we use sound enrichment even when we sleep etc...yet you don't do this.
      Please don't take this as any form of criticism of your post.....I am just trying to understand the contradiction. Many thanks.....
       
    15. Mal
      Wishful

      Mal Member Team Tech

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cinema speakers
      @Dr. Nagler I read your short paper about tinnitus, and they are always empathic and thoughtful words.

      I try not to mask besides having the computer running or the like. If I need a rush of focus for work or other things, I sometimes choose to plug in earplugs with a high volume blue noise. I will then be able to focus, but I will grow tired of the high volume. The big downside is, that when I take out the blue noise, my T is undescribably loud. I usually run to the shower immediately after and stay there for 20 mins, so that I can slowly adapt back to not using the blue noise.

      I do this manoeuvre 5 times a week'ish.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @Dr. Nagler

      Re my above post asking why you dont need to use sound enrichment.
      I fully understand that you say it doesnt bother you any more so you dont need it.
      My confusion comes from the fact that you say that: if in total silence then this is a strain on the auditory system. Surely this would be the same strain on your auditory system even if you are no longer bothered by the noise T? Therefore an unhealthy thing to do for the hearing system.
      Just need clarification on this point as it is confusing.
      Surely anyone's auditory system is the same regardless whether that person has habituated totally (as in your case) or not - a strain is a strain......on the hearing system. So why is silence not a strain on your hearing system? What have I missed here..?.
      Or is it that silence is not a strain but sound is only to be used as masking for people who suffer with T?
      Which is it?
      If it is the latter, then the argument goes that if a person with loud intrusive T prefers to sleep in silence or be in silence, that this in fact is not harmful at all to the auditory system and does not strain it.
      Just need to be clear on this. If you can be in silence without it being harmful in any way, then why do you suggest to others that they should always be in a sound enriched environment including when they are sleeping?
      Just confused re this Dr. Nagler and would dearly love it if you can explain this to me.
      Thanking you in advance for your reply.......
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. russiancarl

      russiancarl Member

      I am not sure if masking is the right word but I definitely enrich my environment with sounds 24/7.

      I mostly stick to my room and I have a white noise machine, a small fan, my computer, and a television on pretty much all the time. This is if I want to really mask the tinnitus and it doesn't always work. On good days I usually just have the fan and white noise machine on.

      The competing sounds really help and I guess there are moments when my mind doesn't even realize the ringing is there. Short but blissful moments.

      Silent rooms are death to me. And the odd thing is it really depends on the room of the house. Upstairs it's mostly okay... I guess enough other sounds going on. Downstairs near the kitchen while I'm doing something... not a problem, the fridge isn't loud but it's enough to draw my attention off the T while I'm cooking. But, the minute I step foot in the basement. Just yikes!
       
    18. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @Dr. Nagler

      any chance of a reply please to my above post and question
      much appreciated and looking forward to your early response
       
    19. meeruf
      Badass

      meeruf Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Diving

      You really hate your tinnitus, right...? :(
       
    20. Jesse Pinkman

      Jesse Pinkman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      That, and she also seems to hate dr.nagler.

      @amandine
      The obvious answer would be that Dr.Nagler is already habituated, and that those pieces of advice youre talking about are advices to habituate faster...
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    21. Mike34

      Mike34 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      I play rain sounds at night to sleep, but other than that I rarely mask. I've found the less I mask, the faster I'm becoming habituated. I've had T for around 3 months and I'm basically to the "not caring" phase already. It is hard when a new sound appears and/or current sounds get louder.
       
    22. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      @Jesse Pinkman

      Thank you for offering BUT my question was directed at @Dr. Nagler quite clearly so please allow @Dr. Nagler to reply. Unless you are a medical doctor specialising in tinnitus? Though your opinion, as everyone's opinion is valued here, I would deeply appreciate a reply from Dr. Nagler as soon as he has a moment to reply. It was a respectful question to which I would dearly love a reply, from the doctor.

      Plus Jesse I dont know where you are able to make such assumptions re Dr. Nagler. Are these assumptions directed at @Amelia or me? And @meeruf yes I guess she does hate her tinnitus. Don't we all?
      So Jesse please, with the greatest of respect, speak for yourself and voice your own opinions and not make such assumptions on someone elses opinions - please - and please try to keep the thread on its topic...thanks
      So that my question does not get lost, I have repeated it below

      @Dr. Nagler If silence is not good for the auditory circuit as it causes it to strain, then how it it not harmful for your auditory system to sit in silence? Intrigued and confused. Something I have wondered about for a very long time......
      Thank you.
       
    23. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      @Jesse Pinkman - woah!!! Where did you come up with that???? @meeruf did notice I hate my tinnitus - yes I do! Obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be here, but then you quoted his comment saying the above. I've not mentioned Dr Nagler in this thread, so if that was directed at me perhaps you should go back and re-read this thread and amend your comment please.

      I have nothing but respect for Dr Nagler, and I find his posts very helpful. So please, amend your comments. I do not want anyone on this forum forming opinions for me. I'm not trying to start trouble, I just don't want someone speaking for me.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
    24. Jesse Pinkman

      Jesse Pinkman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2011
      Im sorry, I missread who merulf was quoting. I thought he quoted Amandine and my comment was meant towards her. Her negative atitude towards him makes it pretty clear...
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    25. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Thanks @Jesse Pinkman, hope I didn't come across as rude - I just really value my place here and would hate for people to be taking me the wrong way :)
       
      • Like Like x 2
    26. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      I agree with @Amelia. As she has said when she thought you were discussing her: I value my place here and object strongly to people forming opinions for me.
      Where is this negative attitude that I have to Dr. Nagler? Jesse, why are you wanting to cause trouble? Please keep this thread on track. All you seem to want to do is throw this off track. I refuse to get involved in YOUR negativity. Please explain yourself.....and PROVE your statement that I have a negative attitude to Dr. Nagler.

      As you have YET AGAIN thrown this thread off track with your unfounded and aggressive assumptions, I am now forced to repeat my respectful question which is directed to @Dr. Nagler - if silence is a strain on an auditory system, then how does it not be a strain on your system - to clarify: does silence not become a strain on the auditory system once one is habituated? A respectful question (to @Dr. Nagler that means not Jesse Pinkman) which it has been throughout this thread. I am curious - that if silence is a strain on a damaged hearing system, how does it stop being a strain once a person is habituated. The hearing system remains damaged......whether habituated or not. Just would like to understand this and the best person to answer this is our doctor. Thank you - respectfully..........
      Or is the answer that if one is in silence, the auditory system strains to hear something which raises the T level. But if you are utterly habituated then it doesn't matter cos loud or soft is the same thing - no reaction to any level of loudness...... but then why would a person sit in a silent room knowing that this will raise their T level? In other words, why make it worse purposefully. Just trying to make sense of it all please.
       
    27. George Brady
      Crappy

      George Brady Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1985
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      bad meds
      Try only to do it at night but that does not always work. Make me feel like it not getting the best of me.
       
    28. ampumpkin
      Amused

      ampumpkin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 12/2007 Increase: 04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2007: Meds(Antidepressant) 2014: Meds(Antibiotics)
      I almost never mask unless I need to concentrate when I study. I am at peace with my T and the sound doesn't bother me like it used to.
       
    29. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I agree, Their seems to be the odd few on this forum that are quite intent on twisting and making honest questions, (Especially ones directed too Dr Nagler), into remarks that apparently are meant to contain underlying sinister undertones!
      Truth is, unfortunately Dr Nagler does have a way of sometimes contradicting himself, and rightly forum members are questioning this!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    30. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      I suppose it does, but I just don't care.

      Extremely loud sounds put a strain on the auditory system and in so doing can potentially cause hair cell damage. Environment silence also puts a strain on the auditory system, but there is no potential for damage.

      Perhaps look at it this way. From a developmental standpoint the auditory system serves to protect the organism from danger. Just like with the visual system. So in a pitch black room, the pupils of your eyes dilate in order to let in as much light as possible to protect you from what might be lurking in the shadows. Well the auditory system's equivalent of a pitch black room is environmental silence. And if our ears had pupils, they would dilate - but the auditory system does not have pupils. So the entire auditory system turns up its own "gain" to try to access any sounds it can possibly access, including your tinnitus. The net result is that in a silent room, your tinnitus is greatly magnified. It's a very normal phenomenon. Well, with those who have intrusive tinnitus, that whole process can be extremely unpleasant, which is why it helps to have a little sound in the background to cut through the silence of the night. For me, I just don't care. And since the stress on the auditory system from environmental silence is physiological and causes no damage, as a person who has habituated my tinnitus, I have the luxury of sleeping either in a silent room or in a room with soft environmental sounds. I simply prefer the former.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       

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