Treating Tinnitus with Silence?

Discussion in 'Support' started by bwspot, Sep 27, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. bwspot

      bwspot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/13/2014
      I just found out that my friend had T since he was 20 years old. He never said anything. Amazing. Now is is 44.
      He told me that to treat it he needs to be in complete silence at least 1 day a week. Like a sound chamber or something like that. Now sure where he got this idea from. He said something that the brain needs to hear nothing to understand what T is and where it is coming from. Does this make any sense or it is complete BS?
       
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    2. shan
      Lurking

      shan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      God knows
      I guess it does makes sense to a certain extent. I think a few people had mentioned in this forum that silence does help the ear to "recover". I hurt my back in July and was confined in my room for 2 weeks. I don't know if it was the ginger and gingko tablets that I was prescribed that helped or the 2 weeks respite from the noise outside, I realized my H went down considerably and T less "angry". Now that I am back to work, my T has gone back to being temperamental and H increased slightly again. So I do believe giving the ears a break does help.
       
    3. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Total silence does not give the ears "a break." Total silence puts tremendous strain on the auditory system as it strives mightily to do what it was intended to do in the first place - detect external sounds for protection! Being in the presence of soft environmental sound is the best way to give your auditory system a break.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       
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    4. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      Total silence would kill me!!! Even thinking about it makes me fearful.

      But ... I go to sleep with a sound machine and it's set for 2 hours. I find that if I forget to set the timer and it goes all night I wake up with louder T. Maybe my ears need a bit of a rest too
       
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    5. nogood
      Torn

      nogood Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity/infection
      It kinda makes sense to me.. if i do have a spike.. i just close my ears and listen to the T for few minute, when i take out my fingers.. it calms down..
      May not work for all, maybe it serves has a reminder that t is not real sound ignore it..
      Some wht similar to endurance training push ur self through the pain threshold.. untill you start to ignore the pain.
      It maybe more of mental thing than physical. It most certainly not be the idol way. It most certainly will not work for everyone.. also it would take yrs for anyone train themself to be total silence for a day or so.. mind would go crazy even for a person without T.
      In india we have fasting method.. esp women follow them, they dont utter a single word for one whole day of every week for few months. . Women not talking for a whole day an't a easy thing.. like men not look at breast..enough dedication and practice it is possible to do so..
      Logic behind wht he (your friend) is doing is understandable but not easy thing to do and not recommended for everyone. And may take yrs of practice.
       
    6. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
    7. RicoS
      Confused

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      I have to agree with Dr Nagler, when I go to sleep I put on bird sound...on the minimum volume of my phone.
      It gets me totaly relaxed and not bothered by T. When I wake in de morning it's very low.
      Sleeping in a complete silent room doesn't work for me at all because I wake up with louder T.
      It's remarkeble how low the sound needs to be to mask my T.
      A year ago a jetplain could not even mask it. Now with a bit of sound my brain can ignore it more easly
       
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    8. bwspot

      bwspot Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/13/2014
      Pretty cool technique, i just tried.
      It feels like when i listen to it brain gets confused and freaks out.
       
    9. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      I have tried in the past and works far better than exposure to mild sounds.
      With this way cured the H and lowered T.
      But its difficult to not hear any sound.
      The worst strategy is masking and sound exposure and i have seen
      a lot of doctors prescribing masking and exposure to sounds it's 100% wrong avoid it makes the problem worse.

      If was possible someone can stay for 10 - 20 years in an 0db chamber probably the auditory memory will attenuate and no longer have the ability to perceive T.
       
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    10. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Yes silence makes a difference. I sleep in silence as of late and my ears feel less fatigued and more open upon waking. I believe we are built to sleep in silence.
       
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    11. locoyeti
      Sunshine

      locoyeti Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/2014
      do you have any source for this? i am in pink noise 24/7, so just wanna make sure i'm not making a big mistake.
       
    12. object16
      Magical

      object16 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      1988
      I have constant sound on, there is no choice. I have checked with the ATA/audiologist etc. and I am told this is the correct and safe thing to do. The human was designed to live outside, and for example if you are living in the African jungle etc there are constant noises, probably around 50-60db. Studies on tribal people living in Africa show they have completely normal hearing all the way into old age. The difference is they have no industrial type noises, no amplified music, no explosions etc. I was out walking the other day, and the sounds of water going through rapids, is pretty loud actually. Yet it will cause no hearing damage. The jungle will be full of frogs and birds, water running, wind going through trees, it all makes a constant noise.
       
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    13. Martin69
      Artistic

      Martin69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      (Health) Anxiety
      No mistake. The recommendations vary from 8 hours per day to 24/7.
      White or pink noise does not help me much. I listen to crickets 6-10 hours per day.
      Not really pleasant, but better than listening only to the screaming in my head.
      If my T goes through the roof, I need to put the volume very loud.
      But besides that I try setting it lower than T to not do any masking.

      The problem is oftentimes not that I hear my T, but the thoughts about it.
      So even if I do not hear it, it is 100% on my mind. This makes most problems.
      As other members wrote here, we are permanently searching for the tone.
      I haven't found any strategy yet not doing this.
       
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    14. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl
      If you loose the tone for some months then you will not searching anymore for the tone.
      You brain forget it and you return back in life sure not as before but 90% is feasible.
      I say that because i loosed the T for some months (become very low near 0db) and then i not searched it
      anymore when it returned i searched every time.
      So the problem is the tone if the tone go away you will stop searching it that's my experience.
      Also you will not searching it if you do work/hobby therapy.
       
    15. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      The answer must be to be very busy all the time....then you dont think about it
      I honestly think that to be busy and sociable and doing worthwhile stuff all the time is the answer.
      Maybe i am wrong but i just feel like this is the way people forget about it. Loud or not i think that if the brain is busy it is concentrating on other stuff and not on the buzz...

      Otherwise well i sleep with sound and i sleep without sound
      cant see anything making any difference
      i sit in the house with noise and without noise and it doesnt make any difference
      I dont know whether @Dr. Nagler is right or wrong. All that i have read says to have sound all the time....who can say what is the right answer? ok so the ears need sound all the time but i too have found that sometimes it is louder with noise all the time and sometimes lower with noise all the time. I no longer react to the sound - it is just there all the time.....
      with noise or without sleep is difficult
      with noise or without still get panic attacks
      so what is the answer
      trying to not take any meds
      dont want to end up on meds
      but everyone else seems to be on meds....so what is the right thing to do i have no idea and remain lost in this and confused...
       
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    16. robinbird
      Fine

      robinbird Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New Hampshire
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Diagnosed with high pitch hearing loss, both ears, right is worse
      I have been dealing with my attack of T since February 17 '15. It has since changed to a high pitch, almost constant annoyance, at times. I have tried lots of different music, especially when I am on my computer. Everything is too high pitched and makes my ear hurt and draws attention to the pitch even more. I am also finding that TV seems to aggravate my ear. Last night I had some glasses of red wine and Chinese food. I though my head was going to explode. I drank 2 glasses of water and in a few hours the noise level went down. I have finally been able to go to sleep without Lorazepam in almost a month. I have also adopted and have held on to my heating pad for dear life. For some reason, when my T gets loud, I sit on the couch and put the heating pad on my bad ear. The heat is very soothing to me. I also use it on my neck and back. When I wake up in the morning, I hear a soft, breezing buzz in my ear, almost not there. I put my blankets over my head and it is heavenly with the almost silence. I get up and start to go about my business. It seems the more I do, the louder my noise gets. I also can feel my heartbeat a lot in my head now. Sometimes I take a few deep breaths and the noise seems to calm down. When my noise calms down, instead of hearing the loud buzz noise, I hear several different tones. Almost like broken keys on a piano, but soft. I have since had a hearing test done and I do have hearing loss, right ear more, which is where the T is. I don't know where this came from so suddenly and viciously in February, but I did see a war movie prior at the cinema. I kept putting my fingers in my ears because the deep intrusive sounds from the movie, hurt. But, I am trying to be careful what I eat, no coffee, definitely no wine or alcohol, careful of salt. I have been sitting here by my computer for several hours now, and turned off the music that is suppose to help my ear. Right now, the way my ear is in my silent room, I could easily tolerate the T. But, it always develops into something. My little heater I use in this room, makes a low noise that actually feels like it is soothing to my high pitch T. I intend to see other professionals but for now, this is where I am at. I love this site and I pray that someday soon, we can go to the Dr and get some pharmaceuticals to make it possible to endure this situation. Or better yet, grow the tiny hairs back in the ear that are damaged. Bless you all.
       
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    17. Mosaik
      Balanced

      Mosaik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Be careful with continuous background noise, it can induce T eventually.
       
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    18. @Mosaik Do you have a reference for that? I was told by my audiologist to always have continuos background noise. But it seems as if it sometimes makes my T worse.
       
    19. Mosaik
      Balanced

      Mosaik Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      No, but I have seen multiple people both here and on facebook who had problems with it, some had permanent worsening. As far as I can tell noise is a big stress for any audio system, it doesn't seem to be loud but it is a stress.
       
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    20. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I also find going into very quiet environments restful, but I wouldn't say "silent" because even with thick walls and really good windows, I can hear the low hum of traffic and HVAC pretty much anywhere. Sometimes I retreat from the world for days, but then I'm off in the woods which are actually a pretty stimulating sonic environment.

      Be this as it may, I've seen a good number of anecdotes from people with T who enjoy float tanks / sense-dep chambers, and even though it does (obviously) make my T more easy to hear clearly, I really like spending some time each day in the quietest room I can, and generally feel calmer and relaxed afterwards.

      I suspect that this may depend on why you have T and what your relationship with it is. It's not just my T that's reactive, my entire CNS is extremely active (T is far from my only sensory issue) -- and being in a dark, warm, calm, quiet environment calms that down.
       
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    21. Gosia
      Balanced

      Gosia Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      earplugs/ hearing loss
      Mosaic, there's a différence between 'noise in the background' and 'sound in the background'. Nouse is bad. Gentle sounds around 40 db can't worsen your T, can it? When you write sth remember to take care of details.
       
    22. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      [citation needed]

      even in the most naturalistic environments, as in the sorts of places that the vast bulk of human evolution occurred, there is constant background sound of one kind or another. Spent any time outside this summer? The wind in the trees and the chirping of crickets can easily exceed the volume level of low background whitenoise/etc.

      I don't disagree that constant exposure to urban soundscapes is probably bad for the auditory system.
       
    23. I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      There are two things that work for me. The "Back To Silence" method, which is quite easy, and the "Silent Room." I learned about the silent room method from an interview with guitarist Pete Townsend. You sit in a quiet room for 30 minutes every day. You actively listen for silence beyond T. It was kind of a pain in the ass but in a few days I noticed a difference. My other method only takes seconds a day and I like the results much better.
       
    24. Thomas Jackson

      Thomas Jackson Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      loud noise + stress
      I believe that periods of silence ,all from minuts to hours (or even days? although I have never tried that) might be an interesting method for many to try out, softly and calmly. The attitude should be that of listening, observing and reflecting on the tinnitus - a kind of interest even though it might be stressful.

      My own observation is that there often is a delayed response (minuts, hours, weeks, months) regarding both stimules that worsens and stimules/abscence of stimuli that reduce tinnitus, e.g. if I rest my ears with one hours of silence (e.g. with the help of hearing protecting devices that doctors in occupational medicine recommend workers in high noise environment to use) I imagine I get a positive response i.e. less tinnitus after 2-3 days. I got tinnitus sitting close to loudspeakers 1993 and I believe my huge experience from doctors work ( internal medicine 4 years, GP work 10 years, occupational medicine 4 years and being a specialist in psychiatry 20 years) for over 35 years helped me to treat my tinnitus, in fact it was totally gone a shorter period 5 years ago.
      Some weeks ago, 31 of May, I was exposed to an intense sound and my almost totally cured tinnitus came back, I have now treated it with noise protection (i.e. cover over the ears that reduce the noise) a 1-2 hours a day and I am now almost back to where I was Before 31 of May. The period 1st of June until 24th of June, i.e. 2 Days ago, was not that good but two days ago it got remarkably better. I believe doctors are afraid of having an opinion because tinnitus is asbtract and subjective. Personally I look upon tinnitus as a symtom of a neural healing process: the body wants to warn you for too loud noises and the ear want to rest and wants at least 1-2 hours of silence from outside noise every day.
      Best wishes
      Dr. Thomas Jackson Norway
       
    25. Natalie Roberts
      Depressed

      Natalie Roberts Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregnancy or mild hearing loss.. Who knows.
      My tinnitus always seems to be less intense or calm down when I am in silence. When things are especially bad, spending some time alone in my bedroom usually lowers overall volume.
       
    26. Beste
      Disappointed

      Beste Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/16/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo/Clonazepam, Stress
      If you keep your anxiety under control towards your Tinnitus when you are in one the silent rooms can make your brain get used to your T. No matter if it is fluctuating or not. I think this is also why yoga is good for coping with T.
       
    27. GregCA
      Crappy

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I get 8h of silence every night... and yet no change in T.
       
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