Minimum Masking Level (MML) Test — Is 10 dB Tinnitus Considered Loud?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Stayinghopeful, Feb 1, 2023.

    1. Stayinghopeful

      Stayinghopeful Member Benefactor

      NSW, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened with COVID-19 / Anesthesia
      I sat in a booth today getting my Minimum Masking Level (MML) checked. I was in a booth with a headset and the audiologist played a white noise type cricket sound. He played it at baseline, then increased it twice. By the 3rd time it pretty much masked/mixed with my tinnitus.

      He told me my tinnitus is 10 dB. Does that mean he went from the baseline to 5 dB, then 10 dB and that's what gave him this number?

      Is 10 dB tinnitus considered loud? I don't know why but I feel anxious about it.

      Has anyone else here had their Minimum Masking Level measured?
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    2. Ngo13

      Ngo13 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Baby scream (acoustic trauma)
      @Stayinghopeful, yes, the test usually goes up in 5 dB increments and they get the MML by subtracting the masking noise dB - hearing threshold. I saw an article that said the average is about 7 dB. It is only accurate if you have pretty stable tinnitus though. And interestingly, some research has shown that MML does not correlate with tinnitus loudness.

      When mine was done I got 5 dB, and I would describe my tinnitus as fluctuating from mild to moderate. When I was tested it happened to be a mild day. My audiologist said that even though 5-10 dB seems like it is quiet, when it is amplified in your head it is perceived as much louder. I believe that's why the MML and tinnitus loudness aren't the same.

      Reliability of the Minimum Masking Level as Outcome Variable in Tinnitus Clinical Research
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