Those of us that suffer with the intrusion of tinnitus sound in our ears will know that the condition is at its worst when there is no other external noise to dilute that sound. It is at these times that tinnitus masking can be extremely effective.
It almost goes without saying then that one of the times tinnitus sound is most intrusive is during the night when you are trying to sleep. With nothing else to divert attention from the noise within, it appears to become louder. The louder it gets the more focus it demands. This can easily become a very distressing and vicious cycle.
Particularly for use during the night, although by no means limited to that, tinnitus masking is a powerful tool. The concept of tinnitus masking is a simple one. Tinnitus maskers take advantage of the fact that tinnitus exerts itself most strongly during periods of relative Silencil silence by filling that silence with therapeutic sound. Now with a sound that the brain recognises as being friendly to switch its attention to, the tinnitus sound recedes into the background.
Tinnitus masking is not a new concept. Tinnitus maskers first appeared in general use during the 1970’s and have been constantly refined and updated ever since. They are now available in a variety of formats ranging from devices fitted directly into the ear, through to what effectively amount to sound systems to fill a room with a therapeutic sound experience.
The smallest of these tinnitus maskers has the appearance of an earplug and is fitted in much the same fashion. From this little device a gentle rushing noise is delivered directly into the ear throughout the day at a level comparable with the sufferer’s tinnitus. Subconsciously recognised by the brain as being “friendly fire”, this pleasant sound diverts attention away from the unwanted tinnitus. Many people find that over a period of time their tinnitus sounds become almost forgotten and cease to be problematical as a result of this form of tinnitus masking.
Using the same concept tinnitus masking can be delivered from many forms of audio device. For those finding it difficult to sleep there are even tinnitus masking pillows available which have speakers embedded within them. These are ideal where a partner might otherwise be disturbed by the masking sounds. Where that is not a problem bedside sound systems can deliver natural sounds such as that of rainfall, ocean waves, a babbling brook or even birdsong. These can create the perfect relaxing environment for sleep while masking the tinnitus.