When Silence is Deafening

You’re lying in bed after a long day, surrounded by darkness as your environment stills. Exhaustion envelops you as you close your eyes – it’s happening! You start hearing ringing, buzzing, or maybe even a roaring sound.  You feel tense and frustrated as you begin to wonder, “Will I ever sleep soundly again?”  Tinnitus is a condition that affects 1 in 5 people and is due to inner ear cell damage; commonly associated with exposure to loud environments or music.

Most people report hearing heightened pitches of sound that suddenly come and go, a smaller number of people report continuously hearing the annoying noise in their head.  20 million Americans describe their tinnitus as “burdensome.” If you fall into the last group of tinnitus sufferers, you may experience lack of sleep, difficulty concentrating, or even depression. Did you know there are ways to counteract this intrusion into your daily life?

Find Comfort in Counteracting the Sound

While there is no treatment to cure tinnitus, Dr. Star Lange-Richey, Riesberg Institute's Audiologist, recommends, “Keep a sound rich environment in your household or workplace - white noise." White noise is the continuum of frequencies equally distributed over the whole hearing range. White noise is also used to mask background noises in the office or to aid in sleep. Home goods stores sell white noise machines. White noise mobile phones apps are also available. You can also produce white noise with everyday items in your home like a fan or a radio. A radio at a very volume to where it is just background noise. You merely need another sound to counteract the ringing, especially when needing to concentrate or sleep at night. Many treatments involve providing distractions.

People suffering from constant daytime ringing can also find relief by being fitted with a hearing device. Dr. Star Lange-Richey explains, “A hearing aid pulls in those low-level background sounds, keeping the ears busy and the mind off the ringing. If that doesn't help, there are hearing devices that have what's known as the tinnitus masker, which displays a little soft white noise in the background. That helps again to ease the mind, or mask the ringing that you're hearing.”

Contact the Riesberg Institute for a Hearing Evaluation!

If masking those recurring high-pitched sounds with white noise doesn’t bring comfort, or you’re feeling continuous symptoms of lack of sleep, difficulty concentrating or depression book your appointment today with Dr. Star Lange-Richey to discuss options for being fitted with a hearing device or tinnitus masker.

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