Is a Tinnitus Masker Right For Me?

Published
January 25, 2024
3 mins
read
Author:
Michael Piskosz
Reviewer:
Dr. Fabrice Bardy
What Are Tinnitus Masker Devices?

Introduction

A tinnitus masker, or tinnitus sound device, is a device designed to help manage tinnitus using sound therapy. Sound therapy aims to provide relief by using external sounds to mask or distract from the internal sounds of tinnitus. Introducing pleasant and soothing sounds allows the brain to shift its focus away from the tinnitus by reducing the contrast between the tinnitus and a quiet background environment. Tinnitus maskers are often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, which may include counseling, stress management techniques, and other therapies. Over time your brain will adjust to hearing the new sounds, while reducing the negative reaction to tinnitus and making it less disruptive in your daily life. Tinnitus maskers can be a stand-alone product, or a feature within a hearing aid.

  • In short: Most people are candidates for a tinnitus masker.
  • Tinnitus maskers are often used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, which may include counseling, stress management techniques, and other therapies
  • Some individuals may find significant relief, while others may experience only a partial reduction in their tinnitus symptoms.

"Over time your brain will adjust to hearing the new sounds, while reducing the negative reaction to tinnitus and making it less disruptive in your daily life. Tinnitus maskers can be a stand-alone product, or a feature within a hearing aid."

Using a tinnitus masker can help kickstart the habituation process and help redirect your attention away from tinnitus.

Benefits of using a tinnitus masker:

  1. Reduced Awareness: Tinnitus maskers can help reduce your awareness of the tinnitus sounds, making them less intrusive and easier to ignore. This can lead to improved quality of life and decreased stress or anxiety associated with tinnitus.
  2. Kickstart Habituation: Over time, using a tinnitus masker may help you habituate to the tinnitus noise. Habituation is a process where your brain learns to tune out or ignore the tinnitus sounds naturally, even without the masker.
  3. Enhanced Concentration: Tinnitus can be distracting and make it challenging to concentrate on tasks. Using a masker can make it easier to focus on work, reading, or other activities by reducing the prominence of the tinnitus sounds.
  4. Stress Reduction: Tinnitus can be emotionally distressing, leading to anxiety and depression in some cases. By masking the tinnitus, maskers can help reduce the emotional impact of the condition, potentially leading to lower stress levels.
  5. Flexible and portable: Tinnitus maskers are typically small and subtle and are worn behind-the-ear. Unlike earbuds or headphones, maskers can be worn all day long in a variety of settings, without worry of having to remove them to hear other people talk, or having to recharge the batteries.
  6. Non-Invasive: Tinnitus maskers are non-invasive and do not involve surgery or medication. They are a relatively low-risk option for managing tinnitus.
  7. Improved Communication: In social situations, tinnitus maskers can make it easier to hear and engage in conversations by reducing the interference from tinnitus.
  8. Reassurance and support: Tinnitus maskers can complement other coping strategies for managing tinnitus, such as counseling, relaxation techniques, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. It can also provide reassurance since you can have it with you at all times.

Am I a candidate for a tinnitus masker?

Most people are candidates for a tinnitus masker. Use the checklist below to determine if you’re a candidate.

  • Bothered by tinnitus
  • Had a tinnitus consultation with either a medical doctor or an audiologist
  • Not reporting major hearing difficulties
  • Good ability to handle small devices

How MindEar can help you in your tinnitus journey

MindEar offers a range of scientifically-backed solutions that can help you manage your tinnitus symptoms effectively. In the MindEar app you will find a soundscape library offering a variety of adjustable soundscapes to help you find the sound sound therapy that works best for you. You can also talk to a tinnitus expert to help determine if a sound masker is right for you. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques are also accessible to provide you with the tools to take control of your condition so that you can live a life without noticing it. MindEar is here to guide you on that journey.

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Conclusion

It's important to note that the effectiveness of tinnitus maskers can vary from person to person. Some individuals may find significant relief, while others may experience only a partial reduction in their tinnitus symptoms. Additionally, research has shown that using a sound masker in combination with professional guidance and counseling is more effective in managing tinnitus, than using a sound masker alone.  It's advisable to consult with an audiologist or healthcare professional to determine if a tinnitus masker is suitable for your specific needs and to receive guidance on its proper use. 

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