Tinnitus maskers are a form of sound therapy. They produce specific tones and sounds of white noise to help “drown out” or mask the sounds of your tinnitus. The external sounds from the tinnitus maskers help distract you from the internal noises and bring some relief to their symptoms.
There are 3 types of tinnitus maskers you can use to help elevate the ringing of tinnitus. Keep in mind that at times it may take more than a few alternatives until you find what works best for you.
The first type of tinnitus masker consists of DIY tinnitus maskers that range from household items or apps. For example, all you need to do is grab smart speakers and play ambient brown or white noise. Or if you prefer, put on a pair of wireless headphones and tune into a tinnitus app. Lastly, turn to some of your home appliances for some help. Leaving the fan or humidifier on while trying to get some rest or when falling asleep can help make a difference in coping with tinnitus.
The second type of tinnitus maskers are sound machines. These machines provide background noise to turn your attention away from your tinnitus. A recent article by The Sleep Judge reviewed some of their best tinnitus sound machines for sleeping. Though, whichever sound machine you decide to use, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out for you. There are plenty to choose from and hopefully you can find one that is just right for you.
The third type of tinnitus maskers are the tinnitus masking hearing aids. Every major hearing aid company offers a tinnitus sound enrichment program to help mask tinnitus. To assist in concealing your tinnitus, the hearing aids employ different noise (a combination of varying frequencies and sounds).
We’ve mentioned white noise machines and if you chose to use one to mask your tinnitus, there are some things to consider before you purchase one.
- Sound variety
- Charging capabilities
- Features: timer, remote control, lighting
- Bluetooth compatibility
Choosing the right sound stimulus is important when selecting your white noise machine. To help with differentiating between the many colored noise machines, we’ve defined white noise, pink noise, brown noise, gray noise, blue noise, and black noise below.
White noise, sometimes referred to as broadband noise due to its broad continuous source, contains equal noise of all audible frequencies. Typical white noise is the static from a television or an untuned radio channel, the humming of an air conditioner, and the hissing of a radiator. White noise will definitely help mask out any annoying sounds.
Pink noise includes all the sound frequencies that humans can hear, though the lower frequencies are more amplified and the higher frequencies are less intense. Pink noise can sound like rustling leaves, crashing waves, rain falling, water flowing in a stream, or any other sounds you may hear in nature, thus helping individuals reach deeper sleep.
Brown noise, also known as red noise, lowers the higher frequencies even more than pink noise. Brown noise gives off a rumbling sound, such as roaring river currents, a rushing waterfall, thunder, or strong winds. Brown noise helps with concentration.
Gray noise and pink noise are very similar, except that each listener’s gray noise is a little different. Scientists tailor specific gray noise for every individual who uses it. Certain frequencies are amplified or reduced to aid in one’s distinctive frequency response. Doctors typically use gray noise to help treat individuals with tinnitus and hyperacusis. Outside of accommodating those with hearing problems, gray noise isn’t used much.
Blue noise mostly focuses on high-frequencies with seldom deep tones to balance out… “all treble and no bass.” For individuals sensitive to high-pitched sounds, blue noise works well in masking outside sounds. An example of blue noise is the hissing of a water spray. Audio engineers often use blue noise to minimize or smooth out distortion during sound engineering.
Black noise uses pure silence. The energy level is zero throughout all frequencies, though occasionally, there are random bits of noise and rises.
Which color noise is best for tinnitus relief? From the different colored noises we’ve examined, one would suggest white noise. However, it really is up to the individual. One study found that there were significant differences in reducing the discomforts of tinnitus when using any colored noise to mask tinnitus, but there wasn’t a significant difference in the color choice of sound.
Tinnitus maskers are a form of sound therapy that is used to help the sensitivity in your hearing. The AudioCardio app can help relieve symptoms of tinnitus and pairs well when listening to ambient noises while working on tasks or falling asleep. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at www.audiocardio.com.