NHS UK White Noise Generators

Discussion in 'Support' started by Pink Noise, Mar 24, 2020.

    1. Pink Noise
      Artistic

      Pink Noise Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones (Overear) coupled with age (sigh)
      Hi @Michael Leigh,

      I have been prescribed some white noise generators from the NHS, and wondering if it made your tinnitus louder even by setting the level so that both the noise and tinnitus are heard?

      I feel like my tinnitus level is becoming louder. Not sure if I'm doing anything wrong. I am wearing them for over 6 hours a day as instructed by the audiologist.

      Thanks in advance.
       
    2. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Pink Noise

      For twenty years I have been using white noise generators prescribed by the NHS and fortunately, they have never made my tinnitus louder. Some people have difficulty with WNGs for a variety of reasons and stop wearing them. I understand this but in some cases, this might not be such a good idea until every avenue has been explored to try and find out the cause of the adverse reaction. Sometimes the volume of the WNGs are set too high, or the person has been advised by their Hearing Therapist/Audiologist to wear them straight off for 6 to 8 hours which might cause irritation to the ear and auditory system.

      White noise generators can help treat tinnitus and in my case completely cured hyperacusis. From what you describe, it seems that your Audiologist has advised you to set the volume of the WNGs at what is called the mixing point. This is where the tinnitus and the WNGs can both be heard. I do not agree with this method as it can cause irritation to the auditory system for some people and thus make the tinnitus louder. In addition to this, if you have been instructed to wear the WNGs straight off for 6 hours without building up wearing time, this can also cause irritation and make the tinnitus louder.

      My Hearing Therapist advised that I set the volume of the white noise generators slightly below the tinnitus and then, slowly build-up the wearing time so they cause the least amount of irritation to my ears. Therefore, I advise you to try the following which might be of some help.

      Put the WNGs on in the morning and set the volume slightly below the tinnitus. If this causes irritation set the volume as low as possible. After this has been achieved wear them for just 1 or 2 hours then take them off for the same duration. After 1-2 hours has elapsed put them on again and continue wearing for another 1 or 2 hours. Continue doing this throughout the day. The idea is to slowly build up the wearing time so your ears and auditory system get used to them and hopefully your tinnitus wont become louder. This may take two weeks or more until you can wear them continuously for 6 hours as you have been instructed. I wore my WNGs for 8 to 10 hours without any problems after slowly building up the wearing time.

      Once you are able to wear them continuously for 6 hours or more, try not to keep adjusting the volume of the WNGs. Some people do this when leaving their home and going out on the street. Traffic noise and other environmental sounds can make it difficult to hear WNGs. To compensate some people turn up the volume so they can be heard. Please do not do this as it's the wrong thing to do.

      Once you put the wngs on in the morning set the volume slightly below the tinnitus and leave them alone. Over time the brain will habituate to the WNGs and slowly push the tinnitus into the background making it less noticeable. If you keep adjusting the volume of the white noise generators, it makes it more difficult for the brain to habituate to them. If you have hyperacusis the WNGs will also treat it.

      Best of luck.
      Michael

      PS: After 2 years wearing white noise generators, my tinnitus reduced to a very low level and the hyperacusis was completely cured and has remained this way. In 2008 I had a second noise trauma and my tinnitus changed dramatically and it took 4 years to habituate again. However, the hyperacusis did not return.
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Pink Noise
      Artistic

      Pink Noise Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones (Overear) coupled with age (sigh)
      Thanks Michael for the info. That's really helpful. I've been mucking about with the volume throughout the day. Maybe that's where I'm going wrong. Will try the 1-2 hours technique.

      I plan to see it through as the audiologist mentioned that she had a lot success with her patients which gave me hope that one day a good position with my tinnitus.

      :thankyousign:
       

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