Tinnitus Masking: In-Ear Maskers

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

    1. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Each person is different and if you have no problems sleeping with your Widex hearing aids and playing sounds through them that's fine. However, it's something I don't advise as the auditory system needs a rest like everything else. To have a constant input of sound in such close proximity to the ear and auditory system isn't a good thing in my opinion. I have had TRT twice both treatments lasted 2 years and have used white noise generators for over 20 years.

      Please think about this. If you are doing TRT and I mean with a trained therapist then he or she should know, wearing white noise generators, although possible, is not advisable when sleeping. This is documented in Professor Jastreboff's TRT book which I have. When I had TRT with my Hearing Therapist (who has tinnitus) she advised to use a sound machine by the bedside at night time, as advised by Jastreboff.

      Michael
       
    2. an1992

      an1992 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Maybe antibiotics
      Yes, if I play the tones at home I can hear distortions up to 2000 Hz.
       
    3. Leila
      Probing

      Leila Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 chiropractic treatment, 2 and 3 no cause
      I'm using a hearing aid that doubles as a masker without suffering from hearing loss and it has been a lifesaver. My ENT and other doctors were very much against me trying this version of a WNG but it helped me a lot.

      I have a new and third tinnitus noise in my previously unaffected ear now and will try to get a second device or, should that fail, have the one I already have altered so it fits the other ear since the new noise is so loud it almost blocks out the buzzing noise in my other ear.

      Here in Germany, if you get the WNG/hearing aid from an acoustician, you have quite a long testing period. I think I've been in and out, experimenting with different masking noises and devices for about 3/4 of a year. There was not a lot to choose from and it was rather difficult to figure out what works and what doesn't but to me it was worth the while. So, unless you are forced to buy the product whether it works for you or not, I think it is, at the very least, worth a try.
       
    4. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      It's not clear why there would be a difference between "a WNG you wear in your ear" and "a WNG at your bedside," especially if they are at the same volume. Michael, do you know why that's the recommendation? Is there science behind it?
       
    5. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      Out of curiosity, did your doctors say why they are against this? Tinnitus maskers have been included in hearing aids for a decade now (as far as I understand), and I don't think the functionality is controversial.
       
    6. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      I believe you have made a mistake Posidon65. It is recommended to use a sound machine by the bedside. Not a WNG.

      As I have said in my post to T Toledo in a section you have quoted, whilst it's possible for a person to sleep with WNGs and some people probably do, it's advisable to give the ears a rest from having sound funnelled into them at such close proximity, after wearing them during the day for the best part of 8 to 10 hours. Furthermore, they can feel uncomfortable on the side of the head when placed against a pillow. I do not know of any science behind Jastreboff's suggestions not to wear WNGs at night. Although in his TRT book he mentions some people wear them at night. I have tried it and find them very uncomfortable.

      I have expressed my views on science and tinnitus previously in this forum. Science has its place in this world and to some degree with tinnitus. Medications for example can be immensely helpful for some people and devices such as white noise generators. I am specifically referring to noise induced tinnitus. If one wants to learn about this condition and acquire more knowledge, the only way is with first hand experience. That is living with it and corresponding with people that have it. This type of tinnitus as well as tinnitus caused by an underlying medical condition, can seriously affect a person's mental and emotional wellbeing when severe. One cannot understand tinnitus reading about it from a book.

      Michael
       
    7. Leila
      Probing

      Leila Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 chiropractic treatment, 2 and 3 no cause
      They argumented that most tinnitus patients couldn't get used to them and suggested I spare myself the time and energy it would take to have them properly set up and train myself to tolerate them.

      I'm glad I insisted, because the device made a really big difference to me. Yes, it took some getting used to having something in my ear and it did take a really long time to get the frequency right because I have two noises in one ear and one masking noise that helped with one noise would often agitate the other, but in the end I found something that worked and I'm eternally grateful for that.
       
    8. Leila
      Probing

      Leila Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 chiropractic treatment, 2 and 3 no cause
      I was never advised to not wear my WNG at night so I initially tried wearing the device in my sleep. However, I quickly came to realise that having something in my ear became painful to the point of waking me up the moment I went from sleeping on my back to sleeping on my side. Also it really is intense having something emitting a noise right into your ear for a longer period of time, even if this noise helps you with your tinnitus noise. In the beginning, when taking out my WNG, it felt as if I had been to a rock concert without ear protection. All the noises around me sounded really remote and dull. But I got used to it and hardly need any time to adjust anymore.

      So, yes, it does make a difference whether something is projecting a noise right into your head or is producing said noise somewhere in the room, just as there is a difference when listening to music via in-ear phones or playing it through your speakers, and since people are different, too, it's something you will have to try out for yourself.
       
    9. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      That's his recommendation, not "the" recommendation.

      You can find authoritative sources who recommend wearing WNGs at night, just as I suppose you can find ones who don't.

      It really boils down to what works best for you.
       
    10. T Toledo OH

      T Toledo OH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/26/20
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely loud noise and earbuds
      I play the tones real low. If I am having a good night I will try to sleep without them.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      It is up to you...
       
    12. twa
      Irritated

      twa Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      2017- mild /Sept. 2020-moderate
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      meds/acoustic trauma
      Is everyone's oscillating? Mine kind of changes throughout the day.
       
    13. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      Mine too.
       
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    14. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      I'm curious: has anyone tried bone-conducting headphones as an alternative to in-ear maskers? I ask because my tinnitus is very high frequency, and in-ear maskers can only play up to a certain frequency (e.g. 10,000 Hz). It looks like bone-conducting headphones might go up to 20,000 Hz, while also leaving your ear canal open.

      Anyone try this? If so, I'm curious to hear how you like the bone-conducting headphones vs. in-ear maskers.
       
    15. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      FWIW, I have trialed hearing aids (used as maskers) from Widex and Phonak. I tested the two models for their ability to reproduce a high-frequency white noise, as generated by the myNoise iPhone app. Specifically, I played the white noise on both models at identical loudness levels (dBA), and then measured the loudness at specific frequencies above 10,000 Hz.

      My measurements show that the Phonak produces more loudness at high frequencies than the Widex. This was somewhat surprising to me, as Widex advertises a wider frequency range than Phonak does. Though this might apply to the hearing aid function, rather than to just the speaker. Note both models are receiver-in-canal (RIC) models.

      I thought I'd share this info in case it's helpful.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    16. Leila
      Probing

      Leila Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 chiropractic treatment, 2 and 3 no cause
      Has anybody heard of or tried the Nuheara tinnitus masker? I came across their web page when looking for something a little more tailored to tinnitus than the hearing aid turned WNG version I'm currently using. I talked to my acoustician about the product and he told me that Siemens will be launching something similar this year but since he had only been sent a dummy product so far he couldn't say anything about its functions or special features.

      They are offering an online hearing check tailored to their product which is quite different than the hearing tests I've had before since it doesn't just decreases the volume of the numbers you are told to repeat (no words here as far as I can tell) but plays a noise interference at the same time. I'm not sure if that makes a difference as far as the end result is concerned but it was something that stuck out to me because it was a lot closer to what hearing with tinnitus is like than the decrease in volume tests I've done before.
       
    17. Jrblovsky

      Jrblovsky Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Christmas 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NOISE/Menieres Who knows
      I thought the Widex hearing aids sucked honestly. I also trialed the Phonak Audeo Marvel M90R model. I have an Android phone and it was annoying to me you cannot direct control the Widex. The Phonak works great. I'm going to breakdown and buy one once I get this roaring figured out.
       
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