Tinnitus Masking: In-Ear Maskers

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by aapeli, Mar 9, 2011.

    1. Mentos

      Mentos Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Cracow, Poland
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, loud rock concert
      I do use WNGs not for sleeping but to function daily, I would not be ale to work without them. Honestly I don't care what they write in this paper, I need masking to get through the day, I know my brain is messed up anyway with or without maskers.
       
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    2. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Out of curiosity: for folks who've had success with in-ear masking sounds, why do you think they help you?

      The reason I ask is the following. One view on in-ear masking is that the sound could be just as annoying as the tinnitus itself. However, is the masking sound less annoying than the tinnitus for some reason? For example:

      • Does the fact that the masker is outside the ear, rather than inside the ear like tinnitus, make the masking sound more pleasing than the tinnitus?
      • Is the masking sound more broadband than the tinnitus, and thus more pleasing for that reason?
      • Any other reason you find in-ear masking to be successful?
      Any thoughts and experiences are most appreciated.
       
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    3. Cernuto

      Cernuto Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I have maskers. They are effective for sleeping, very unobtrusive. The benefit is the masking sound is much more pleasing to me than the constant shrill of tinnitus. I can change the sound and volume, so if the sound becomes overbearing I adjust it. One complaint is the frequency of my tinnitus is above 12 kHz, which is a little bit above the capability of the maskers.

      A theory that looks to me to be associated with CBT/TRT is the loudness of tinnitus does not correlate with the anxiety level. I find this theory to be strange. On days when my tinnitus is louder (determined by comparing it with the loudest volume of my sink/shower), it's definitely more difficult for me to function. I'll leave the maskers in all day on the louder days as they do provide relief. Other days I don't need them at all.

      People with tinnitus may be reluctant to try maskers. A reason may be the makers look like hearing aids and hearing aids have a negative stigma attached. Another reason may be that they are yet another thing that reminds you you have tinnitus. If these are your reasons and you're distressed from tinnitus I suggest you get over it, do yourself a favor, and give maskers a try at least. See if you can get some loaners from an audiology clinic.

      What's occurred to me while writing this is perhaps my level of hearing shifts to be less on some days while the volume of tinnitus remains the same. This would make the perceived volume of tinnitus to be louder? I don't seem to have any trouble hearing normal things (like the TV) on the 'louder' days though.
       
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    4. Dennis LeRoy

      Dennis LeRoy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 1, 2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely a middle ear infection
      I recently bought a pair of AirPod Pros and use them often throughout the day. In my opinion the AirPods are a good poor man's version of maskers. I find that I use them most when I need to concentrate or talk to people (right ear only), but take it out from time to time so I can begin to adjust to the noise. Don't want to become too reliant on them of course.

      My sound of choice is a chorus of crickets, I believe this works well because my tinnitus frequency is around 9000 Hz, and as far as I can tell the cricket frequencies go up to and above 9000 Hz which interferes with my high pitched hiss. I have moderate hearing loss in my right ear which starts at 4 kHz and goes on up. Thankfully I can carry on a normal conversation with the AirPods (most human voice is below 4 kHz) so there's no frequency interference with the crickets. Only issue is the odd look of wearing one AirPod and explaining why while talking to folks.

      I'd MUCH rather listen to the crickets over tinnitus at this point as I'm fairly new to this malady. The only problem with AirPods so far is the fact that I can't sleep with them, simply because the charge isn't enough to take me through the whole night. They'd eventually fall out also. This is why I'm looking at other maskers for a longer term night solution.
       
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    5. Lilah
      Bashful

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      What type of maskers do you have? I've heard that maskers are very uncomfortable for sleeping. How long have you been using the maskers for sleep? Do you use them during the day as well?
       
    6. Cernuto

      Cernuto Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      These rechargeables:
      https://www.oticon.com/solutions/rechargeable-hearing-aids

      I've been using them around a year now. It took about a week to get used to them. When my tinnitus is really loud I may end up using them all day, until they run out of charge. They take a few hours to charge and last all day.

      You can connect them to your phone and play whatever masking sound you like. Oticon makes slimmer versions which may be more comfortable.

      Really, you should evaluate different manufacturers like Widex. They have some great solutions as well. It took me 2 months to decide on the manufacturer and model. Insurance covered the majority which was a major factor in selection.
       
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    7. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      This is a question for all of you who have been using White Noise Generators long term.

      I was about to look into purchasing White Noise Generators, but after reading a study briefly that indicated that the use of White Noise Generators may be associated with further disinhibition, I am hesitant. I would really appreciate some input here as I am struggling still.

      I obviously don't want louder tinnitus as a consequence of using White Noise Generators - even worn correctly (that is setting the volume just below the tinnitus).

      If anyone has read this study (was posted on here somewhere), and has some input that could help, I would appreciate it.

      Thanks very much.

      Deb
       
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    8. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      The study mentioned in this thread regarding the possible disinhibitory effects of white noise is perplexing me.

      I have been consider WNGs lately.

      What do you all think of this?

      @FGG
      @Michael Leigh
       
    9. Cernuto

      Cernuto Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Dr. Nagler's advice:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/is-masking-tinnitus-harmful-to-ears.38512/#post-494997
       
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    10. wwtsai

      wwtsai Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SNHL
      Do you mind sharing the pros/cons with the other hearing aids you've tried? I just got my Oticon S2s but I admit I kind of wished I had shopped around first. I might bring up trialing other ones when I go in a few weeks to fine tune my S2s.
       
    11. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
    12. Cernuto

      Cernuto Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I tried a Widex Evoke model for a 30 day trial. The Zen tones were a nice feature and its phone app had a bit more features than my Oticons. You can tune out sounds (voices) coming from a particular direction even. Having to change the batteries was the con to the Widex. There were other Oticon models I tried that were thinner, but again they needed batteries. So, between the insurance coverage and the rechargeables, I narrowed it down to the Oticon Opn S1.
       
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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

      I have only seen your post by chance and received no Alert message. White noise generators should be used under the guidance of an Audiologist/Hearing Therapist experienced in tinnitus and hyperacusis. Regular counselling with these health professionals is also advised. I have written posts on using white noise generators as part of TRT in the links below.

      Michael

      What Is TRT and When Should It Be Started?
      What Happens in TRT Sessions?
       
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    14. Cernuto

      Cernuto Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      Sounds plausible if it's misused. The idea isn't to block out tinnitus entirely. You let enough tinnitus in to not cause anxiety and then averaged out over time you should need less and less masking. Easier said than done. That's why you need an expert. Consult with an audiologist.
       
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    15. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      Thanks for that.

      I have a telehealth with my audiologist tomorrow scheduled to discuss further.
       
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    16. OnceUponaTime
      Busy

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      My tinnitus got worse throughout the years.

      Unfortunately, the hearing aids are not an option for me at this point.

      My best wishes to you all.
       
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    17. Lilah
      Bashful

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sorry to hear that. Do you think the hearing aids/maskers caused the worsening?
       
    18. OnceUponaTime
      Busy

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      No. I only tried them that one day at the audiologist office. Really had high hopes they could help me, but my tinnitus got worse and I never had a chance to try them for an extended period of time.
       
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    19. Kpikid

      Kpikid Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Shock
      I had an acoustic shock from a telephone in 2008 in the UK.

      On the NHS I got the programmable hearing aids that has white noise.

      Unfortunately after getting fitted for the inner ear adaptors the pain the ear canal started later on. Also you had no off switch and had to open the battery door on the hearing aid to deactivate them.

      Twelve years on my tinnitus is beyond belief and it screams in my head. The only solace is tranquilizers or long sleep deprivation. I have resolved most of the ambient noise with ocean sounds or rain drops on windows music tracks you can find on Deezer.

      Placing a speaker three feet away on medium volume gives some relief. I would give the white noise hearing aids a pass and use Bluetooth headphones (BTH-10 on Amazon) and refrain from ear buds as it will make matters worse.

      I used to love to go fishing at 6am on a lake when it was silent with the odd lake waters lapping on the bank. Now when I go fishing it sounds like 747 taking off all day and night. :(
       
    20. bobvann
      Cheeky

      bobvann Member

      Location:
      Inside the vortex
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud shit
      Same thing happened to me 2 years ago in an Audiologist's office. Tinnitus spiked after approx 5 minutes. I had trialed Widex a few years prior and returned them after one day because I was in tears from the spikes/pain. I trialed Oticons last fall for approx 6 weeks. No benefit.

      I corresponded with Pawel Jastreboff who stated not to persist if they make things worse. Dr. Nagler has also stated the same.

      Listen to R2D2 on crack!:D:D:D:p:p

      AMAZING BRAIN TINNITUS CURE - -- Re-Education...
       
    21. Helheim
      Angry

      Helheim Member Podcast Patron

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection
      I used them for about a year and a half. Yes, the masking noise is more pleasant - unfortunately my tinnitus frequency is high and it kind of just shrieks over it anyway. My hyperacusis got much better but my tinnitus got much worse. After an ear infection, I found that the noisers just agitated my tinnitus even more so I stopped using them. Tinnitus is still bad, and I attribute it to constant white noise exposure from the devices (and yes, it was used at the recommended setting).
       
    22. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      30/12/13
      What about amplifying frequencies that are affected by hearing loss then?
       
    23. bobvann
      Cheeky

      bobvann Member

      Location:
      Inside the vortex
      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud shit
      I tried this so called "notched" custom noise and it did nada...
       

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