Minimum Masking Level?

Discussion in 'Support' started by 2131e, Sep 28, 2014.

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    1. 2131e
      Wishful

      2131e Member

      Location:
      Hobart
      Tinnitus Since:
      19/2014
      Hey all, I know a lot of us here are really distressed by our T and others not so, I guess I'm trying to work out if I'm blowing all this out of proportion..... I've had mine a month and a half now and have spent most of it scouring the internet for cures....

      I'm wondering do others know what their minimum masking level is in decibels for their T? Like, how many db must be around in order for them not to be able to hear their T?

      I feel like my MML level is low but still my anxiety is through the roof. So.... what is your minimum masking level (maybe this only works if you've downloaded one of those decibel apps on your phone)..... and how much do you feel that your minimum masking level relates to your anxiety about your T?

      Hope this makes sense. What I'm finding is you get people with T and they want to kill themselves, and people with T who are fine. People say it is all subjective and of course it is, but wouldn't it make sense that basically however high the MML is determine whether you are fine with it or highly distressed? (Unless there were cases on here of people who need a very high MML AND who are ok with it.)
       
    2. Jay M
      Thinking

      Jay M Member

      Location:
      South Carolina, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      4/4/14
      Masking is more about distracting rather than trying to out volume your T.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hi @2131e: You can't measure a masking level with a decibel meter. It must be done by an audiologist, as the noise is what your brain perceives, not a sound that actually exists, like music coming out of a radio.

      An audiologist can tell your MML db level -- but you pretty much can figure it out for yourself. Just start listening to your masking sound and raise the volume slowly until you can't hear your T anymore. The db level that might be doesn't really matter. Some people with very loud tinnitus are fine; some with not so loud T are crippled by it. Most researchers agree loudness is not necessarily a factor in distress.

      If your tinnitus is causing you anxiety, you need to deal with the anxiety.If masking helps, great. Meditation, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy ... and, if need be, medication also can help.

      By the way, the ultimate goal with masking is to listen at a volume level at which you can still hear your tinnitus. You may in the beginning need to cover your T but over time, aim to turn it down.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      I agree with all of the above posts. When I'm looking for a patient's MML, we do each side separately, then binaural. Usually, binaural is a little less dB HL since you are stimulating both sides!

      I usually ask patients to tell me even when there's partial masking, too. Any and all information you could get would be helpful for some sort of management system. And besides, like other posts have mentioned-- masking is really about blending and distracting and NOT about overpowering. :)

      As far as the correlation between MML and anxiety levels, I think that would be something very interesting to research. It almost makes me wish that I didn't already have an Au.D. Research project! The overall trend that I've noted, though, is that there is a correlation to a certain extent. I think at one point, if your anxiety is just through the roof, it will just plateau. Definitely something cool to look into, though!

      Also remember the limbic system (fight or flight) plays a big role in tinnitus. Do your best to try to keep your anxiety low (I know, easier said than done.) high anxiety = high T = high anxiety = high T (you get the idea....)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    5. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Thanks, @ashley. Didnt know you were an audiologist. Very helpful!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    6. ashley
      Busy

      ashley Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/28/2014
      An audiology student-- half way through my graduate classes :)
       
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