‘Tinnitus’ is a sensation of ringing, buzzing in the ear in the absence of external sound which hinders the ability to hear. But now patients uses real, external sound to counteract their perception and reaction to tinnitus which makes tinnitus less noticeable. Sound Therapy is one of the most effective therapy for tinnitus if combined with counseling and education about the condition. Let’s start with exploring what tinnitus sound therapy is.
What is Sound Therapy?
It is a process of adhering distraction abilities towards the ringing sensation felt in the ear and also enhances the hearing ability of the sufferer. Sound Therapy is utilized to protect the whole ear by sending through continually changing low and high tone sounds. Sound therapy procedure consists of masking and further how this masking affects the tinnitus.
Working Principle of Sound Therapy of Tinnitus
Sound therapy works on the following principle cum treatment-
Masking: It is both deliberate and natural attempt to mask or to cover the internal noise by external noise produced by an external source at such a volume that it subsides the symptom. Here the term external source refers to the hearing aid, mp3 player, traffic noise and environmental factor(thunder noise, drizzling sound) vice -versa.
Mind Deviation: Yes, mind deviation of the sufferer by any means like medical counseling, medical devices(hearing -aid), meditation, engaging in physical activities etc.
“Distraction (deviation) is the best key to treat this problem.”
Medical Counseling: In this scenario, the patient is made to realize that there is no such problem like tinnitus and to how to tackle this problem on daily basis.
The patient brain is counselled and trained enough that his or her mind automatically deviates from the distraction.
Neural Sensitivity: Last but not least, ‘Neural Sensitivity’ is tackled by minimizing the thought of sensitivity (ringing, buzzing) etc by giving the desired frequency sound (required for tinnitus) to the patient.
Different Sounds Used In Sound Therapy
Different sounds? What does it mean? It basically depends on the types of a patient suffering from ‘Tinnitus’.
For different sufferers, there are different sounds which are rectified by an ENT specialist or by the sufferer himself. Yes, you read it right, ‘sufferer himself ’, as no one can be a better judge than the person suffering from ‘Tinnitus’.
The sound used will vary from low level to high level, totally dependent on the intensity of tinnitus.
White Noise: The buzz noise sound when you tune in to the radio, the buzzing sound heard while changing the channel of old television(way back in 90’s) i.e ‘white noise’.
Instrumental Music: The reason of using (Piano) tune is to nullify the effect of tinnitus. Not only this but also soothes one mind and body which is very much required for the ‘Tinnitus’ patients.
Notched Sound: The sound, similar to the ‘White Noise’is used to target the auditory neurons and improves them by making them less sensitive and its continuous listening result in the diminishing of the tinnitus.
Power of ‘Om’ Sound: The word ‘om’ is enough to curb all of your diseases, as ‘Om’ is the symbol of Universe (Brahman) which means ‘Lord Shiva’ (The creator, the destroyer) reside in it.
People-affecting from ‘Tinnitus’ or any other disease should practice listening sacred ‘om’ sound. If you do it on a regular basis, you will definitely see the eradication of the negative aura. DO IT!!! and See The Power Of ‘OM’.
Environmental sound: Though this sound is not a deliberate attempt to hinder the buzzing noise but an indirect way to subside it. As the name suggests, these sounds are from the environment like traffic noise, thunderstorm, drizzling etc. The sound generated will divert the mind of the sufferer.
Technology Used In Tinnitus Sound Therapy
The technology advancement in today’s world has increased so much in our daily lives that it is constantly improving its application and that too in a greater extent.
Here the technology is the use of Devices, Mobile Application etc to curb the symptoms of tinnitus.
Hearing Aid: The sound amplifying device used for hearing impaired patients and also for the patient of the tinnitus which nullifies the “ringing in ear” sensation.
Mobile Application Based On Tinnitus: There are many applications in Google Play Store where you will find ‘n’ no of ‘medical apps’. The apps based on tinnitus are basically those sound generators generating sounds at a different frequency designed only for tinnitus patients. The purpose of this app is to send white noise in order to nullify the internal ringing noise in the ear.
Tinnitus Maskers: This device is used both as hearing aid as well as noise maskers where white noise produced by the sound generator of this device reduces the sensation of the ringing in the ear. They are also called ‘White Noise’ generators which are used as maskers, easily wearable inside the ear.
Internet: The use of the internet is immense in today’s world that one can find ‘n’ no of treatments. There are various websites which provide a free downloadable music made for this irritating problem. Listen to them effectively.
Neuromonics: Specialist uses this device to treat tinnitus problem effectively. It has also helped the veterans of the US Army. This device works on the following stages:
Stage -1: An individual will wear the device for at least two to three hours a day. This device delivers specially designed music or sound. The device uses specially modified algorithms to tackle your ‘ringing in ear’ problem.
Stage – 2: This stage trains the sufferer to divert his or her attention. This helps them in performing day to day activities normally, the motto behind this device is the “creating a distraction”.
Benefits of Sound Therapy in the management of Tinnitus
- It provides immediate soothing relief to many patients.
- It helps in reducing negative emotional consequences as a patient. A person becomes habitual to consciously ignore and treat the sound of tinnitus as unimportant.
- Helps patients control their tinnitus.
- Allows some patients to experience residual inhibition.
- Non-invasive approach with no adverse side effects.
How long does one need sound therapy?
- Most of the individuals utilize sound therapy only when tinnitus is irritating them. However, when the tinnitus is calm down, there is no need for sound therapy.
- If you are in one of those who wears sound generator, you need to wear it until the point when you are able to deal with your condition better.
- When you acquire a capacity to build up a sleep pattern, you will no longer require a bed-side sound generator.
Which sound is best for you?
How to know which sound is best for you? No single sound will provide relief to all people. Preference for sound differs, depending on one’s goal in a particular situation. Henry at el performed a case study to compare custom sounds for achieving tinnitus relief. He showed that air and water sounds were judged as best from among a variety of different types of sounds for reducing annoyance to subjects’ tinnitus. For masking tinnitus, they also found that more dynamic sounds like rain, seem to be better compared to less dynamic sounds, like white noise.
White noise, rain sound, and music are compared in relation to decreasing tinnitus annoyance. Music is preferred over white noise but rain is the most preferred one among them.
We can conclude that treating ‘Tinnitus’ is not a big deal. Hence when taking precautionary steps it subsides and in some cases totally eradicates. To that, there are different methods that come under the ‘Sound therapy of Tinnitus’. The amount of treatment you will experience can be short or long. Everything depends upon the individual and what their specific condition is.
So, in case if you experience tinnitus, you should take guidance of a medical expert. An expert will provide you with the best treatment design as soon as possible.