White Noise Generators
White noise has proved to be effective in masking the sounds produced by tinnitus as it contains equal high and lower frequencies, so is more effective at masking the higher pitched sounds experienced by sufferers. White noise generators are also commonly known as Maskers, and work by generating white noise sound which can be heard by the sufferer. The volume is usually set to a level either just below or at the same level as the tinnitus, and generators can produce a range of sound frequencies. They should not be used to try to block out the tinnitus noises, but to condition the subconscious auditory system to ignore the tinnitus.
Sufferers may be prescribed a wearable white noise generator, which is worn all day, but not generally at night. They are designed to fit into the ear, and look a lot like hearing aid devices. These should be fitted and the volume set by a Healthcare professional.
Other white noise generators are designed to sit on a table or bedside cabinet top, and can be used during the night. This is particularly effective if your tinnitus is worse during the night, and can help to overcome associated insomnia. The example shown above is a Sound Conditioner Sound Screen SleepMate Electro-Mechanical White Noise Machine
It may be worth placing a radio next to your bed, tuned to a frequency between stations to that the static hiss of white noise is heard. Turn the volume low so that the noise is just audible; don’t be tempted to try to turn it up loud to block the tinnitus out as this could cause long term damage to the auditory system.
If you have an MP3 player or iPod, software containing pure white noise can now be purchased for download. I believe that CDs are available too.
White Noise Generators can be an effective way in managing the symptoms of tinnitus, although they should not be seen as a cure.