Tinnitus Maskers: What Are They and When Should You Use Them?
If tinnitus is the problem, tinnitus maskers may be the solution. Well, sort of. At a bare minimum, they may provide you with the instant relief you need while seeking out more permanent treatment options. But how can you actually mask the obnoxious ringing? Let’s find out.
It is generally advised that when you begin looking for solutions to your tinnitus problem, you begin with masking. Why? For starters, it provides you with instant relief. It can be difficult to effectively research and investigate other treatment options if you can’t focus. Tinnitus maskers may provide you with the focus you need to find a more permanent solution.
So what are these “tinnitus maskers,” anyway?
Most often, they are devices by which very specific sounds are generated. These sounds, if effective, will essentially eclipse the terrible phantom noises in your head. There are a number of different types of sound that can do the trick, and each individual tinnitus sufferer will respond more favorably to some than to others.
Masking devices come in a variety of styles, and in all reality they don’t even need to be officially labeled as “masking devices.” There are the popular hearing-aid style maskers and sound generation machines. There are also devices that you can place under your pillow that will play white noise for you as you sleep.
Of course, anything that causes the ringing to stop for you is a great choice. More “unofficial” types of maskers include house fans, televisions, running water, music through headphones, and even an open car window. If it generates a sound that’s a better alternative to your tinnitus symptoms, then by all means, implement it until something better comes along!
Are Tinnitus Maskers the Be-All, End-All of Tinnitus Relief?
Again, masking your tinnitus is a great place to start, but it’s certainly not something you want to have to rely on for the rest of your life. Of course, if another solution cannot be found, then it’s certainly great to know that this is an option you’ve always got at your disposal. But by no means should you just “leave it at that” if you don’t have to.
You should always be on the lookout for a course of treatment that turns the ringing way down, if not completely off. Depending upon what’s causing your ears to ring (and the potential causes are many), you may be able to find a complete cure. It has happened on more than one occasion. However, officially, the condition has no known “cure.” This may be due, in part, to the fact that tinnitus is actually a symptom, rather than a disease.
A symptom of what? Well, that’s the million-dollar question. Answer it correctly, and your chances of living a tinnitus-free life go up dramatically. In any event, the use of tinnitus maskers can help to reduce the severity of your condition long enough for you to receive a proper diagnosis and hopefully do away with your tinnitus symptoms once and for all.
Naturally, not all cases of tinnitus will be treatable. If you have permanent nerve damage and surgery can’t fix it, then you’re stuck with a pretty miserable reality. But there is still hope for you to enjoy a somewhat normal life without having to be dependent on tinnitus maskers. It’s a coping mechanism that works like masking, but it’s actually your own brain that’s doing the masking!
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT):
It starts off as “assisted masking,” with a counselor actually guiding you through the process. Through a series of tweaks and a process known as habituation, the goal of TRT is to render the uncomfortable phantom noises you’re currently being plagued by into something you don’t even notice.
It essentially makes your tinnitus symptoms as irrelevant as the sound of a passing car, environmental chatter, or any of the other thousands of sounds we filter out as unimportant each day. No matter if any tinnitus maskers you try are successful at helping you cope with your symptoms, TRT is certainly worth looking into as a viable, long-term treatment option.