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One of the most proven effective treatments for tinnitus is the tinnitus masking treatment. Masking treatment does not eliminate the tinnitus permanently but it drowns out the annoying tinnitus sounds making it appear softer. A masking device resembles a hearing aid.
The sound that comes from a masking device is usually a soothing sound placed at a volume a little louder than the tinnitus sound for the patient to be able to ignore the unpleasant tinnitus sound. It is an automatic response for some patients to be able to ignore a variety of external sounds.
They ignore it because it is either so loud or rough or if it is somewhat regular and monotonous. Once a person is able to ignore the masking sound, he is able to ignore the tinnitus sound as well.
Other types of maskers used for tinnitus masking are the bedside maskers. Maskers are often used by patients when they go to sleep to make them sleep better. Bedside maskers can make use of a radio that is tuned into an empty station and with a low volume.
The development of modern tinnitus maskers was done by Jack Vernon, Ph.D. way back in 1973 at the Oregon Health Sciences University where he lead a research group that was studying animals for treatment options on tinnitus.
He was visited by Dr. Charles Unice one day to consult him regarding a very severe tinnitus. Dr. Unice was subjected to several tests and it was found that his tinnitus was at a range of 10,000 Hz. While they were about to have their lunch, they passed by a fountain and this made Dr. Unice stop all of a sudden because he felt soothed by the sound of the water flowing in the fountain.
He told Dr. Vernon about this which led Dr. Vernon to an idea of a wearable masker to provide relief from the ringing sound.
The use of tinnitus masking treatment however will not work for all tinnitus sufferers. To know if you are a good candidate for masking treatment, try doing the faucet test. Try to open the faucet and let the water run in full force.
If the tinnitus sound is minimized or eradicated then it means its ok for you to use maskers. But if it happens that the tinnitus is still heard during the faucet test, it may mean that there is hearing loss so the masking sound cannot be heard.
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