Is ‘White Noise’ Therapy Enough To Eliminate Tinnitus?
Tinnitus patients may hear different sounds. Each patient is different. For some they may only hear one sound while others may report hearing multiple sounds. It can be continuous or intermittent. Even the ways these sounds are perceived vary. For some people, these phantom sounds may not be a big deal. For others, these sounds may cause stress, irritation and anxiety.
There have been cases of people being so depressed that they contemplated suicide. While this is extreme, it just shows how tinnitus affects people.
The whole idea of sound therapy is to distract the patient so that he or she does not pay attention to the noise in their ears.
Basically, an additional sound is played for the tinnitus sufferer to listen to. This is known as ‘white noise’. What the white noise does is that it masks the phantom ringing or buzzing noises in the ear.
The method of delivery varies too. Some people may receive the sound therapy though earphones connected to an MP3 player while others may use a sound generator placed close to their bed. In daily life, several tinnitus sufferers use hearing aids that have masking capabilities to get them through the day.
The main point to note is that white noise therapy is not a standalone cure for tinnitus. In fact, it is just a temporary measure at best to provide relief. Tinnitus cannot be cured with white noise therapy. Only by determining the cause of the tinnitus and dealing with it can anyone hope to attain relief.
The causes for tinnitus are many and varied. Blood vessel disorders, constant exposure to loud noise, high stress levels, TMJ syndrome are just a few causes. If you’re suffering from tinnitus, you’ll need to examine your lifestyle closely and see if you are doing anything to cause or exacerbate the condition.
Even consuming a cup of coffee may aggravate the condition drastically because the caffeine acts as a stimulant. So, you need to be aware at all times.
People receive sound therapy in several ways: by devices worn in or on the ear, by headphones connected to an MP3-like device or with an under-the-pillow speaker for night use.
There are also other forms of therapy other than white noise. There are medications to alleviate the symptoms and even techniques such as acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy may be employed to assist the patient’s recovery.
Studies have shown that most tinnitus sufferers are in the age range of 50 to 70. These age group also experience diminished hearing. Hearing aids are the best first line of treatment here. Especially combination devices that are both hearing aids and sound maskers in one.
To summarize, we need to understand that while white noise therapy is an effective way to deal with the annoying tinnitus symptoms, it is not a one stop solution. We need to constantly be alert to our habits and behavioral tendencies that may be causing the tinnitus. Once the cause has been identified, that’s half the battle won. The rest will be much easier as you address the cause and find ways to deal with it.