Retraining Brain to Forget Frequency of Tinnitus — White Noise Sound Machine vs. Physical Fan?

Discussion in 'Support' started by messedupmyears, Feb 9, 2021.

    1. messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      He.y I’m trying to decide what the best type of white noise machine would be, whether it’s a physical fan or sound machine. I’m leaning towards the physical fan as I think my ears can tolerate that better than the artificial sound.

      I’m basically just going for the wind sound, so I think a small physical motorized one could be the best option but I do not know this area well and I’m sure others know more about this than I do. There’s so many options for products...

      I would probably just get a random highly rated one off Amazon unless I hear a better option, it’s hard to know if it would be good or bad for tinnitus.

      My tinnitus is noise induced (loud music for a long time) and sensitive to all noise now. It’s a high pitched noise that gets louder when thinking. I hear it much louder and distinctly when I listen to music, make phone calls, or do pretty much anything.

      Hoping to drown out the ringing for long enough for my brain to forget the frequency that it’s basically programmed with now.

      Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
       
    2. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      My opinion: for the same level of loudness, you'll get more masking value from a white noise machine (or app) than you will from a fan. The reason being that fan noise is centered in the low frequencies, which doesn't compete well with tinnitus (which is usually in the higher frequencies). White noise machines and apps can better target these high frequencies, and can leave out the lows completely.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Interesting, for me I have sensitivity now with sound coming out of speakers, i.e. artificial sounds.

      Also wouldn’t the low frequency white noise be better in this case if I’m trying to reprogram the default sound away from the high frequency?
       
    4. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      I don’t think there is such a concept as a “default sound” that you can “reprogram toward or away from.”

      The general goal of masking is not to help you habituate to your tinnitus. In fact, arguably you will habituate fastest with maximum exposure to your tinnitus, i.e. with no masking at all. However, this is intolerable for many folks (myself included). As a result, we use masking to reduce the contrast between our tinnitus and the background noise. This helps us notice the tinnitus less, so that it’s less bothersome. And I’m suggesting that background noise which is close in frequency to your tinnitus provides the most effective contrast reduction.

      Note is it generally not recommended to mask so loudly that you completely cover your tinnitus. This is because in order to habituate to a sound (i.e. your tinnitus), you need to be hearing the sound to some degree. You can only habituate to what you’re exposed to.
       
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    5. PortalNaut

      PortalNaut Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Late 2/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    6. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      He is right. A fan will drown out low frequency tinnitus to some degree but do nothing for high pitched ringing. On the other hand, a sound machine will target the high frequencies but leave out the low frequencies. I hope you're not cursed like me to have both, then it's basically unmaskable.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      So I saw an ENT and they said it’s hyperacusis.

      In my personal situation when I hear anything at all, even just listening to one song at low volume, the tinnitus kicks in big time.

      So it appears that any noise at all is directly associated with hyperacusis and in tandem with the tinnitus.

      Does anyone have any feedback given this specific combination? It’s a very specific formula for what causes my tinnitus: the hyperacusis causes a tinnitus directly in tandem with noise exposure with the high pitched frequency staying around long after any noise exposure.
       
    8. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      Just stay away from those junk Amazon sleepbands. My tinnitus is permanently worse due to those. Four or five second blast of noise is all it takes.
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hyperacusis can be treated in two ways and results are often good. It takes time for the auditory system to recover and desensitize. Try not to keep way from normal everyday sounds or use earplugs too much. I have written an article on hyperacusis, please click on the link below and the other link: Tinnitus, A Personal View. Try to avoid using headphones, earbuds or headsets even at low volume.

      All the best
      Michael

      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Tinnitus, A Personal View | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Oooo I was going to get mine on Amazon, basically a random fan machine.

      Can you elaborate on what to avoid?
       
    11. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      I can't speak for tabletop machines but the cheap sleepbands for 20 bucks is what screwed me for life. Mine has been catastrophic for over 5 months now. It was already severe before.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I’m unsure what a sleepband is but I’ll make sure to avoid them. I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. I’m most likely going to avoid a fan machine anyways considering the kitchen fan reinvigorates my tinnitus... I really don’t know what type of product I could even use that wouldn’t reinvigorate it, I’m so sensitive to any form of noise...

      Alternative suggestions would be appreciated if you know of any.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Thank you for your reply, I made sure to look at your thread before replying myself. You seem to have a lot of knowledge and experience with this form of tinnitus.

      I understand your thoughts on not avoiding the sounds of every day life. I personally think that if I don’t seclude myself to a quiet environment for a while I might regret it in the future.

      Whenever I’m on the phone (even speakerphone), or watching tv, turning on a fan, or especially talking, I hear the high pitched frequency as a sort of ‘film’ over the words that I say. I don’t know how to get rid of it, and normal sounds reinvigorate it.

      TRT is something that I don’t think is right for me, I don’t think I should be getting used to the sounds at this stage in comparison to trying to get rid of the sound altogether.

      After extended periods of silence I notice it becomes very very faint and almost unnoticeable but it is still there. If I can get it from that almost unnoticeable standpoint to complete silence and maintain it for a while I might be ok, but I don’t know how to get it back to total silence from this minimal ‘film’ that is in the background (and that I hear when I talk).

      Any advice on this specifically?
       
    14. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      Be thankful you have mild/non existant tinnitus and move on with your life. I wish at times some of the folks on here would experience the severe tinnitus some of us have to realize how easy they have it.
       
    15. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      It’s been terrible at times, completely unbearable to a point where I can’t even describe, but yes I am thankful that I’m able to manage it at times although it never goes away it just sometimes can be rather faint. It hasn’t gone away for a couple weeks now, so I’m starting to lose faith...
       
    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You are new to tinnitus and hyperacusis. I am pleased that you read my article before replying as that is the right thing to do. I give advice based on personal experience, corresponding and counselling people with noise induced tinnitus and hyperacusis. Each person is different and therefore, what works for one person may not for another although certain principles on treating oversensitivity to sound are the same.

      Both these conditions can impact on a person's mental and emotional wellbeing considerably, which takes time for a person to accept and address. Some people may need professional help that I have mentioned whilst others don't. Please have a word with your doctor if stress becomes too much and don't dismiss medication in the form of an antidepressant, if it is suggested. Give yourself time and experiment to see what works for you. It is a learning curve for as I've said we area all different.

      To answer your last question: Hyperacusis like tinnitus can fluctuate a lot and whilst extended periods of silence results, in the oversensitivity becoming faint almost unnoticeable which is not uncommon. As soon as you're subjected to certain sounds, the oversensitivity can return which can be very frustrating for the affected person. Take your time and gradually incorporate low level sound enrichment into your life. Experiment using noise reducing earplugs try not to become too dependant on them. You are in the early stages try not to put too much pressure on yourself and take things slowly.

      Your might find my post: The habituation process helpful.

      Michael

      The Habituation Process | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    17. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      messedupmyears

      messedupmyears Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Thanks for the reply. I just went to a restaurant for the first time since this started getting bad and I am a physical wreck right now, there was someone screaming at the bar of the restaurant and it felt like those metal gongs were smashed in my ears... it’s hard to type, find the right words, and collect myself mentally and physically. It personally makes me really angry and unable to focus on anything.

      Basically I went from near total silence to what feels like some of the loudest noise I’ve ever experienced.

      I just got construction-level earmuffs and they are good at blocking out noise, but I still hear the leftovers from dinner, pun intended but really not funny. I’m trying to remove the sound from my subconscious and I feel like that dinner was the kill shot with it never being able to go away to the point where I can meditate for long enough without it.

      I don’t know what to do.

      What physical part of the hearing system is damaged when it comes to noise induced hyperacusis with ear pain from noise sensitivity?

      I can barely even think right now but please provide any advice that you can on this. I feel nauseous from the frustration stress and all of this. Additionally my neck and back has been rather stiff and I also wonder if that has anything to do with the central nervous system and the tinnitus...
       
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