Unintended Consequences of White Noise Therapy for Tinnitus—Otolaryngology's Cobra Effect

Discussion in 'Research News' started by linearb, Sep 4, 2018.

    1. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      karma
      https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/article-abstract/2697852

      DANGER WILL ROBINSON, FLAME BAIT AHEAD

      This strikes me as a pretty big deal, not to mention extremely controversial.

      I have not yet read the full text, but at a high level, if this is remotely accurate -- then it makes both using TRT-style broadband ear-level generators, as well as "sleep with a fan / run a fan all the time" seem like exactly the opposite of what you want to be doing.

      This meshes with my personal observation that fans and white noise in general piss my ears off, rather than soothing them.

      @threefirefour I am curious to get your thoughts here.
       
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    2. JohnAdams
      Festive

      JohnAdams Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      Aspirin Toxicity/Possibly Noise
      Well I'm not a big "fan" of TRT but I need my fan to sleep and my water sounds to work. :cry:
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      I slept with a fan for most of my life; once the tinnitus got to the point that I could hear it over the fan, I stopped.

      Now, ~8 years later, I can comfortably sleep with earplugs in. It took a lot of work to get to that point, but it's made my life much better, because it means I am now capable of sleeping comfortably in environments with a bunch of annoying background noises. You're relatively new to this annoying condition, do not assume that you're going to be stuck blasting fans forever.

      That's neither here nor there, though -- I need to get my hands on the full text, because on the face of it this is literally the most controversial thing I've read about tinnitus research in the last 5 years at least.
       
    4. Johan_L

      Johan_L Member

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
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    5. Contrast
      No Mood

      Contrast Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
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      Tinnitus Since:
      late 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise injury
    6. kelpiemsp
      Swamped

      kelpiemsp Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      birth/ recent spike 2/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Born with ETD, several acoustic traumas, most recently ETD
      Nice shout out to signal timing there!
       
    7. kelpiemsp
      Swamped

      kelpiemsp Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      birth/ recent spike 2/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Born with ETD, several acoustic traumas, most recently ETD
      I am trying to figure out if the belief is tinnitus is a predictor of dementia or if dementia is a predictor of tinnitus.
       
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    8. threefirefour
      Peeping tom

      threefirefour Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      140dB B R U H moment
      It looks interesting. I will read the full paper to check it out. Thanks.
       
    9. kelpiemsp
      Swamped

      kelpiemsp Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      birth/ recent spike 2/2018
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      Born with ETD, several acoustic traumas, most recently ETD
      Proceed with caution. Author is an employee of BrainHQ, one of the beneficial types quoted in the paper... FWIW... and is using the term neuroscientist when in reality they are a cognitive psychologist by training.
       
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    10. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
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      Acoustic trauma
      The paper says that you will reinforce tinnitus if you play white noise, even when it is initially distracting.

      The theory is that white noise reinforce cells that generate the perception of noise, and vice versa, you are better off listening to music and speech, specially if they have been "notched" to exclude frequencies neighboring tinnitus.
       
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    11. 85dB T
      Malnourished

      85dB T Member

      Tinnitus Since:
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      Frohike, thanks for the review.

      "White Noise" reminded me of the snowy mountains. Sound is muffled by blankets of snow. So you can actually hear gentle thumping of large snowflakes stacking upon one another.

      Now it's the worst environment because of tinnitus. Like a stealthy wolf constantly stalking you.
       
    12. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
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      Otosclerosis
      There is a sound therapy called Windowed White Noise, which is essentially white noise that is notched around a given frequency (with a specific "width") - which has the best volume reduction of all the sound therapies I've seen (compared to ACRN or general notched music).
       
    13. kelpiemsp
      Swamped

      kelpiemsp Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      birth/ recent spike 2/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Born with ETD, several acoustic traumas, most recently ETD
      It seems the link with dementia is more that there is a specific type of dementia related to auditory processing that seems to cause tinnitus. Now hearing loss on the other hand is absolutely linked to dementia, but that is "mostly" because of people no longer being social. The mere mental power of maintaining friendships and socializing seems to ward off dementia in those with hearing loss.
       
    14. Manny
      Dead

      Manny Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

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      United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      central gain << NIHL
      Phew. Lol.
       
    15. fade2black244
      Inspired

      fade2black244 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Induced
      I have had a fan on while I slept for most of my life. When I was 12 I had a bad case of tinnitus after listening to a fan that was particularly loud. After it took about a week or so for the noise to go away, I wore ear plugs to sleep along with a fan.

      We often think of fans & white noise as a savior to distract us from the tinnitus. However, even at perceived safe levels, over time it can still do damage. If you do use a fan, be sure not to sleep to close or have it too loud or you could still be hurting your ears.

      After I got my tinnitus, I did not have a loud fan or white noise blasting in my ear(s). I did not mask at all for the first or second month even though it was very difficult. It has gone down a little bit since, however, it is safe to say at this point that it is chronic.

      I don't believe that listening to a fan or white noise will make it chronic or "stick" if you will, but I will say if the noise level is too loud, you will definitely make it worse.
       
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    16. 85dB T
      Malnourished

      85dB T Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      *
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      *
      I feel the same way about my hearing aids. To hear clearly the volume needs to be near full. This hurts my ears. This isn't much different than wearing ear buds listening to an mp3 playing loud music!

      I can't sleep with near silence. If white noises make it worse that's just going to have to be an unwanted side effect of my "treatment".

      Peace
       
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    17. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

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      @linearb

      I know this is an older thread.

      Does this include notched white noise?
       
    18. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
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      @linearb

      Old thread I know...

      But did you ever follow up on this study?

      I wanted to know if this would include notched white noise...
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      destroy all creatures. they cannot be regenerated.
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      @DebInAustralia what @kelpiemsp said above made me basically discount this paper entirely. Weird singleton paper that presents a theory based on no human data, and researcher involved has clear conflict of interest. Meh.
       
    20. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
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      Thanks.

      It did alarm me.

      Really struggling with tinnitus.

      And wondered if notched white noise would be a problem.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      destroy all creatures. they cannot be regenerated.
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      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      There's a long thread on it here, I haven't kept up but my blurry memory of it is that as with most audio therapies some people reported temporary spikes, but that's about it.

      I did a long stint with ACRN and it definitely was doing something because some weird stuff was happening with my audio; I remember that sometimes when I'd be falling asleep hours later my brain would start playing ACRN tones as though I could really "hear" them. Very strange.

      I didn't stick with notched noise long enough to have any opinion.
       
    22. DebInAustralia
      No Mood

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Advocate

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

      I'm not terribly compliant with sound therapies because I don't enjoy listening to it.

      I'll try it again though as I think it does do something.
       

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