Depending on the cause, hearing loss can come on suddenly or occur over time. You may not even notice a hearing problem until you begin hearing persistent ringing sounds in your ears at all times.
Because of the lack of hearing in your ears, a ringing sound becomes apparent as your body tries to fill the void of sound. This ringing is a symptom of tinnitus, which is quite common among patients with hearing loss. Over time, you may become increasingly frustrated by the ringing, hissing, or whistling in your ears — especially at night when trying to sleep.
However, you may notice that in certain environments, the sound of the ringing may lessen or appear to be completely nonexistent. This form of sound therapy happens when an external sound distracts the individual and masks the ringing sound in the ears. Sound therapy, such as a sound bath, won’t cure your tinnitus symptoms but can make them more bearable.
Follow along while El Dorado Hearing explains what sound baths are and how they can help your tinnitus symptoms.
What Is Sound Therapy?
Sound therapy has been found to be an effective way to help individuals cope with their tinnitus symptoms by distracting them from the unpleasant and constant ringing in their ears. The first instance of sound therapy working to help tinnitus was back in 1903 when a physician played the piano at the same frequency as their patient’s tinnitus — making the ringing in their ears temporarily inaudible by masking the sound.
If you have tinnitus, you know how your symptoms often appear worse in quiet environments. By deliberately using sound therapy to reduce the ringing, hissing, or whistling in your ears, you’ll find some relief from your tinnitus which will help you sleep more soundly. However, it’s essential to remember that sound therapy is not a cure for tinnitus.
There are four aspects of sound therapy treatment that help explain why it can be an effective option for tinnitus patients:
- Distraction – Sound therapy is a great way to distract the patient from the sound they hear in their own head by putting their focus and attention on noises within the environment around them.
- Habituation – Over time, your brain gets used to certain sounds it regularly hears as you go about your day, almost treating them as white noise. Sound therapy can help patients train their brains to get more comfortable with the ringing sensation.
- Masking – When listening to sound therapy, a patient may hear sounds that are loud enough to cover the ringing noise in their ears — helping to mask the tinnitus symptoms.
- Neuromodulation – With neuromodulation, sound therapy tries to rewire the connections in the brain that may be causing ear-related problems such as tinnitus symptoms.
Each individual must determine which form of sound therapy is most effective for their specific scenario. One option to try is a sound bath, a form of sound therapy where an individual joins a group of people gathered to lie down in a room and listen to sounds produced through various instruments.
El Dorado Hearing Is Here to Help
Take the first step to relief by scheduling a tinnitus evaluation with one of our skilled audiologists at El Dorado Hearing. If you or a family member is struggling with tinnitus, we can help you find a solution, such as sound therapy, that will help mask the ringing sound and allow you to get on with your day more comfortably.
Our doctors of audiology specialize in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating tinnitus with great success. Contact us to schedule an appointment.