Should I Use White Noise to Mask My Buzz/Ring? Or Continue Listening to My Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by JohnCG, Jul 25, 2021.

?

Should I Mask My Tinnitus with White Noise?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Maybe

Results are only viewable after voting.
    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Sound Oasis make good quality sound machines that are specifically made for people with tinnitus. Its primary purpose is to treat tinnitus and hyperacusis while you sleep, not necessarily to assist in getting you off to sleep. There could be more than one reason for it irritating your ears. Try using the streaming water app, which sounds softer than white noise and one of my favourites. You might also be setting the sound too loud. It should be at a volume where you are able to easily ignore it and should not be drawing attention to itself.

      The sound machine should be placed by your bedside and not too far away. Eighteen inches is about right. You might want to consider getting your hearing checked to see whether you have any hearing loss. All Oasis Sound machines are good but they do vary in sound quality. I have three models, the S-5000 is their best. S-650 is very popular and the model I regularly recommend. S-850 Travel, smallest of the Oasis Sound machines and is very high quality. Has in-built sound apps like the S-5000 so doesn't use sound cards like the S-650.

      Michael
       
    2. Simon85

      Simon85 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Nov 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably noise exposure, but unknown.
      Hi @Clerkp. Have you tried to set it on a timer so that the sound stops after say 30 minutes? Not sure how long it takes for you to fall asleep, but this way you get a sleep assist without the sound playing continuously.
      Sounds like the speaker is sitting too close to your ears. Better to move it away a bit. I imagine there will be a bit of experimenting placing the speaker around the room.

      You’ll find a wide range of opinions on here but ultimately it’s about finding something that’s both safe and works for you. I’d also experiment with trying to sleep in silence if you can. Other things that may help include trying to keep a regular sleep schedule, getting exercise during the day so that you’re worn out in the evenings, not eating or drinking anything too stimulating late in the day...

      I hope that helps and wish you luck. If you really find yourself unable to sleep it might help to lean on sleeping pills as a short term assist, but I wouldn’t recommend long term use there. Decent sleep is essential.
       
    3. Flet
      Mellow

      Flet Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Michael Leigh, do you have any suggestions on a good white noise/sound generator?
       
    4. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If you mean a table top sound machine? I recommend models made by Sound Oasis. S-650 is popular. Their best model is the S-5000. Please click on the link below and read my post: Sound Machines and Tinnitus.

      Sound Machines and Tinnitus | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
       
    5. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Thank you as always. I have an S650 on order. Hoping the quality is a bit better. I also ordered a dream pad pillow speaker. I am a side sleeper so it's been very difficult trying to sleep flat. Just one more thing to make sleeping difficult. Moving the speaker away (particular the very small one) doesn't seem helpful after all because the volume is too low. Still experimenting. All I know is my tinnitus is much louder at night. It's not perception it's reality. I cannot figure out why but it seems to be tied to my sleep issues.
       
    6. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      My sleep is too broken for a timer unfortunately. I do think my ears are getting fatigued by the pink noise. The water sounds are better but mask a little less. Trial and error at this point.
       
    7. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Just set the volume of the sound machine at a level where you can easily ignore it. Sound enrichment works while you are asleep. The tinnitus seems louder at night because the surrounding environment is more quiet than during the day. This allows your brain to focus more on the tinnitus and it will appear louder. This is the reason a person with tinnitus should try not to sleep in a quiet room. If the brain hears quiet, it will turn up its internal gain at the same time the tinnitus will increase too, which can make it louder during waking hours.

      Michael
       
    8. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Thanks Michael. I considered that but it seems to be even louder generally. I sleep with both a regular fan and now the Sound Oasis machine so there is plenty of background noise in my room. I'll set things to a good level to fall asleep with sound just below my tinnitus. Then I'll wake at 1, 2 or 3 am and find that my tinnitus is much louder requiring me to either turn up the volume or switch over to pink noise (which is irritating).

      Do you think this is different than the "quiet room" effect you mentioned? Maybe it is perception not reality?

      All I know is that it seems "objectively" louder to me after I have fallen asleep and have awoken then it does before bed and during most of the day. On the good nights, I will fall back asleep and awaken at 6 or 7 am to reduced volumes of tinnitus. So bizarre.
       
    9. Harder Calm
      Frustrated

      Harder Calm Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress/TMJ
      You can program it to turn off after one hour or so, when you are hopefully asleep... so that the ears can get some rest at night!
       
    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      You shouldn't really be using a fan and a sound machine because this is too much sound, and it's probably the reason your tinnitus is louder due to your auditory system being irritated by noise. Take things slowly and just use the sound machine. Set it at a low level. The idea is to supply your brain and auditory system with gentle sound enrichment throughout the night until morning. You cannot rush this so take things slowly.

      Michael
       
    11. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Okay, I'll try to drop the fan. The fan had been my go to for many years until this spike of sorts. The sound frequency is too low right now to help me as this spike has either increased volume or pitch or both. I am used to the fan being on for many years.
       
    12. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I do not like the idea of a fan because the volume cannot be adjusted easily. I know it's possible to move it further away from where you sleep. You probably have some oversensitivity to sound or hyperacusis and this is the reason your ears are irritated. Take things very slowly. My advice is not to use any type of headphones even at low volume, because you risk slowing your progress or completely stopping it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    13. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      I am suffering from some moderate hyperacusis, particularly higher pitched things (like my 8 year old yelling). The fan is actually a tinnitus fan so it's not a typical box fan. It's a very light hum. That said, there probably is too much going on in my room so I'll start with the Sound Oasis machine. I prefer the rain plus white noise selection on the app but am open to other suggestions if you have any. My tinnitus is high pitched so I like the way the app allows me to adjust the EQ. I bump the treble portions up as that provides the best relief.
       
    14. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Select whatever sound you find comfortable. Remember, not to set the sound too high. It should be at a level where it can easily be ignored and not drawing attention to itself.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    15. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      So last night was interesting to say the least.

      I turned off the fan. I found a specific 8 kHz tinnitus tone package on YouTube which was also interesting. It almost completely masked my high pitched tinnitus.

      Michael, I know it is your view that we should not mask fully. However, I must say the tone was a wonderful relief. SO, is the solution to use a different tone that doesn't mask "as well" or just maybe turn it down so I can still find my tinnitus?

      In the middle of the night I switched back over to the rain sounds on my Sound Oasis. That brings out my tinnitus more than the YouTube video. I was able to get back to sleep for a while.

      Two interesting things occurred.

      First, is without the fan I was able to pick up my "other" tinnitus tone which is usually inaudible to me because my high pitched tinnitus overwhelms it. This lower tone is not as bothersome to me as the high pitched tone but I hadn't heard it in quite a while as a result of my recent spike. I actually had been trying to find it. Seems like it is masked easily during the day and at night by the fan.

      Second, my ears were not fatigued this morning so I did not spend an hour or so with loud morning tinnitus like I had recently.

      So dropping the fan was good and bad. My morning fatigue was not there but in exchange I have to hear my "other" tone. Strange indeed.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      Just my 2 cents; I think avoiding the "morning fatigue" is a very good idea in the long term. If we try to avoid that which spikes/irritates the tinnitus, I think the baseline can get a chance to improve with time.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      This isn't just my view, it is the view of most audiologists and hearing therapists that practice tinnitus and hyperacusis management. The brain cannot habituate to tinnitus unless it can hear it. Therefore, masking the tinnitus fully may provide some relief but this is usually temporary. As soon as the masking sound is stopped the brain will immediately focus back on the tinnitus and it can appear to be louder.

      I say again, the advice I give in this forum is advice and not absolute. However, it is based on many years of personal experience with tinnitus and hyperacusis. Corresponding with people that have these conditions and reading books on tinnitus, that were immense help in the early days when I first got the condition.

      Please experiment and see what works for you but my advice again is to take things slowly. The more you look for sound apps and and debate about sound enrichment the more your brain will focus on tinnitus and hyperacusis. My advice is to try and find a sound that's suitable and then forget about it. Give yourself at least 8 weeks to get used to sound enrichment at night. Direct your thoughts to other things in your life and you will soon habituate and hopefully forget about tinnitus. Debating about tinnitus is good but only up to a point. One has to be careful not to make it overwhelming.

      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    18. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Yes, I agree. The morning fatigue is brutal. It eventually dissipates but starting the day like that is a recipe for a bad day.
       
    19. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      As you can tell, I can get a little obsessive which is probably a bad mix. I am still trying to figure out what works best to get through the night. I didn't mean to suggest you were the only one saying not to fully mask and I understand the reasons why but that is some sweet relief when you get it.
       
    20. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I do not think you are being obsessive, just naturally concerned because your tinnitus has increased. You are a veteran to noise induced tinnitus, not a newbie and therefore have experience with this condition. If there is no underlying medical reason for the increase in your tinnitus, the usual cause is further exposure to loud noise or the regular use of any type of headphones even at low volume. This includes earbuds, AirPods, and headsets. If you haven't read my post: Can I Habituate to Variable Tinnitus? I advise that you do.

      Take care.
      Michael
       
      • Like Like x 1
    21. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      Thanks - I have read many of your posts and appreciate all of them. I do not think I have variable tinnitus - at least not at the level of severity that you describe. I still have these night spikes but it seems different but maybe not.
       
    22. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I realize that you don't have variable tinnitus from what you said in your previous posts. I advised you to read the post because, after a long habituation to noise induced tinnitus, more often than not an increase is the result of further exposure to loud sound or headphone use. Once an underlying medical condition within the auditory system is ruled out as the cause.

      The fact that you are sensitive to sound and have spikes, this usually relates to exposure to sound levels that have caused irritation to your auditory system.

      All the best
      Michael.
       
    23. Clerkp

      Clerkp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music
      I think you are exactly correct. I actually think things may be improving slightly. I'm not close to declaring victory but baby steps. I may just be getting used to it. I got a full night's sleep last night (with a sleep aid of course) and my tinnitus is the lowest its been in weeks if not months. Hope the trend continues.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    24. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      That is good news. Nothing wrong with taking a sleep aid. Try not to get too alarmed if the tinnitus fluctuates.
       
Loading...

Share This Page