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The Do’s and Don’ts of the Noise Relief System are meant to provide practical tips based on the experience of individuals affected by Tinnitus. The tips provided here may dramatically reduce the symptoms of Tinnitus. As each situation is different you will need to note what does and doesn’t work in your particular situation and prepare a daily routine. We will update this section as other proven practical techniques are discovered so be sure to check back.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t despair or Panic. The condition can be overcome. You will need to be patient and realize there will be setbacks, trials and tribulations as you move forward to your goal of habituating or no longer perceiving the Tinnitus. It is comforting to note that the vast majority of people who have Tinnitus are eventually able to habituate it. If there is no fear, anxiety, worry or negative emotion associated with Tinnitus sound then the autonomic and limbic system in the brain won't perceive the sound in a negative light and the sound either goes away or is habituated (the sound is there but not noticed no longer perceived). If it is noticed it is no more annoying then your air conditioning fan or computer fan. In the beginning if there was no extreme physical or emotional stress the best course of action would be simply to ignore the sound and not to worry about it. For those that have had the condition for a longer period of time Auditory Habituation using sound therapy may be more appropriate.
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  3. Don’t believe all the negative literature, negative counseling and horror stories. When a physician tells you “You need to just live it” don’t believe it. There is a lot that can be done and there is a lot of reason for hope. The “wall of worry” followed by a negative emotional response is exactly what makes the condition worse. Unfortunately, many “Resources” out there don’t provide sufferers with much hope and practical suggestions. As a result the condition simply worsens.

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  5. Avoid trying so called “miracle cures” that are not supported by medical research. If a miracle cure fails your stress and anxiety levels will be increased. Again, the “wall of worry” followed by a negative emotional response is exactly what makes the condition worse.

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  7. Despite all the negative press more likely than not
    • Tinnitus from a loud event (Disco Tinnitus) may go away as long as you don’t worry and develop a deep emotional response to it. Let it go its course and get plenty of rest and sleep.
    • The worst case in most situations is that after treatment you will habituate or be able to ignore the Tinnitus. The noise may be there but most of the time you won’t notice it or perceive it as annoying. This is the subject of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT). See attached links if you wish to find a professional registered in this technique.
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  8. No regrets. Although it is good to understand the events leading up to the tinnitus don’t beat yourself up over the cause or whether you could have avoided it. Don’t beat yourself up over events in your control that you feel have made it worse. Practice a no regrets policy; it is all water under the bridge. These kinds of things happen and you would be surprised to find out how many people you know have been affected by Tinnitus in some way. It is good to determine what the cause was as this will allow you to understand the condition and move on. Was it a loud noise, severe emotional or physical stress, or an illness that led to the onset of the ear noise?
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  10. Early on, it is often better to avoid using ear plugs or other hearing protection unless you are in fact protecting yourself from expected loud noises especially if you are hypersensitive to sound (i.e. people talking, loud children). The continual use of earplugs may trigger hyper sensitive hearing or Hypercausis in some individuals. (Consult your physician)
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  12. Focus on the negative. Despite widespread literature to the contrary the worst case is that with treatment you will habituate the sound after a period of time. This means eventually most of the time you won’t notice it. Studies have shown this occurs despite the pitch of the sound or the volume level. The best case is that the sound simply goes away.

Do’s

  1. From its inception don’t worry about the noise. This is a case where a negative reaction to an event actually can actually make it worse. In this respect, when the physician says “Don’t Worry about it” the quote has some merit. However, it is far from a complete answer and often makes people worry and question the advice even more. A better response for those who really are worried about and are in need of a more reasoned answer is.
  2. “You needn’t be concerned about it. This is very common and may have been caused by a sudden loud noise and/or significant mental or physical stress. If you just ignore and don’t trigger a negative emotional response the noise will likely go away. In any event your brain will eventually ‘habituate’ the noise and you shouldn’t perceive it as an annoying sound. If you really need to more research this further to go a website that that explains Tinnitus Retraining Therapy.

    In this respect although the onset of Tinnitus may have been caused by physical damage to a part in the inner ear, the continued perception of the ear noise has its roots in the cortical filters, limbic system and cerebral cortex of the brain.

  3. Stay positive and feel fortunate. The theory behind auditory habituation has only been developed and widely recognized in the past few years. You are far better off in this current day and age then someone suffering from the condition 10 years ago!
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  5. After following the tips on this website you are well on your way to understanding the condition and to develop some coping mechanisms to deal with the symptoms. The good thing about Tinnitus is that it is a condition defined by its symptoms. If you don’t hear the ear noise then you don’t have the condition. Thus, once you have met the goal of Habituation of Perception even if the Tinnitus is still there, you cannot perceive it. If you no longer perceive any negative symptoms and since the condition isn’t life threatening for all intents and purposes you are cured! There are ways to lessen and/or remove the symptoms. Read on.
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  7. Enjoy life. This is not a life threatening illness and can be overcome.
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  9. Use sound therapy and play white noise (preferably using headphones so that it is directed to your ears) throughout the day and night to reduce the perception of ear noise, and reduce your annoyance and stress levels. White noise can be played during the day at work using a portable MP3 player, or a MP3 player on your computer with the loop function turned on. White Noise MP3's are available for download. Also white noise substitutes like babbling creeks, crickets, jet cockpit sounds, waterfalls, oceans, crackling fires, are available in CD and MP3 format by clicking here.
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  11. Practice biofeedback. Learning to control muscle tension and “involuntary” body functioning such as tightened muscles, increased heart rate and skin temperature as a way to overcoming symptoms related to stress and ear noise. For example, you can learn to retrain your breathing habits in stressful and panic situations to induce relaxation and a return to normal body function. Breath using your belly using the 6-3-6 principle (6 seconds breathe in, hold for 3 seconds, 6 seconds breathe out). By reducing your stress level you decrease the loudness of tinnitus.
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  13. If possible in the first few weeks (and longer, as required) of Tinnitus do reduce or remove coffee and alcohol. By removing these items you will be able to better assess unexplained increases in heart-rate, tension, or tightened stomach muscles and treat your conditions accordingly. These can be treated using relaxation techniques and sound therapy.
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  15. Avoid stress and fatigue. If possible obtain 7-8 hours of sleep daily to reduce your level of fatigue and the level of ear noise. A good night’s sleep (see link on sleeping) often decreases the level of the ear noise. It should be noted that some people have hyper-sensitive hearing just after waking, if no sound is heard at night. This is another good reason to play white noise, substitutes or the soothing sleep machine (see Links under "Sleeping").
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  17. Avoid silence: Use sound therapy throughout the day and night to reduce the perception of ear noise, and reduce your annoyance and stress levels. If the conditions persist consider obtaining having a meeting with a TRT specialist. Please note that directive counseling is an integral part of TRT.
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  19. Enrich your sound environment. Play background white noise or music on a CD in your home, a computer based MP3 player (see link for quicktime MP3 player in the links section) or on your portable MP3 player during the day to distract you from the ear-noise and make it less annoying. As the relative sound level between the soothing white noise and your ear noise is reduced your annoyance level will be reduced.
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  21. If you will be playing sound on an MP3 or CD player use comfortable and loose fitting earphones. Always play the sound in both ears and check before inserting the headphones to ensure the volume is not too loud and is at a level below the level of your ear noise.
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  23. As sound therapy makes your ear noise less bothersome you will be able to cope while playing white noise or white noise enhanced sounds less frequently. By not thinking or worrying about the noise you are well on your way to habituating the sound for good.
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  25. Use white noise or white noise sounds that are pure and digitally generated and that have been succefully tested by those affected by Tinnitus. Digitally generated white noise is the same sound used in expensive sound maskers implanted in the ear and is a component of the very successful Tinnitus Training Therapy. Digitally created white noise is available at a nominal cost and can be instantly accessed by way of MP3 download over the Internet. If you find other sounds such as a fan, shower, or waves more pleasing you can also benefit from the masking effect of white noise as these sounds may induce relaxation and allow for sound masking. Also some relaxing sounds are available with some white noise digitally mixed in. Visit the Noise Relief Store for a selection of white noise and other products to help you.
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  27. Accept that low-level background sounds will help you tolerate tinnitus better. This is a hard lesson - many of us grew up believing the “Silence is Golden”. Over time you need to accept that this in the short term silence is not an option, and background sound + tinnitus is much more tolerable than no-background-sound + tinnitus. Using a MP3 player playing white noise with the loop function turned on allows for easy constant pure background white noise while avoiding using bulky and less asthetic behind the ear masking units.
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  29. Under the links tab there is a link to a store that provides white noise in MP3 format as well as a CD that has 1 hour of digitally created and recorded white noise.
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  31. Do get regular cardio-vascular exercise such as walking, jogging or Nordic Track 3 times per week 20 minutes per session if possible. This type of exercise reduces your resting heart rate, releases naturally soothing endorphins to the brain, increases circulation and oxygen to the arteries and creates a state of relaxation. Many people have noticed a temporary relief or residual habituation from Tinnitus after the post workout and shower. An anectodal report of Tinnitus simply disappearing after a cardio-vascular workout is also noted.
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  33. Employ relaxation and stress management strategies especially when your ear noise is quite noticeable. Strategies that have worked for others include yoga, cardio-vascular workouts, long showers, massage, hot baths with the water left running, hot tub with jets turned on, sound therapy (a low level wide band background noise played using headphones), relaxation CD’s and MP3s (available at Noise Relief Store), reading, and walking. Experiment and find out which strategy works best for you.
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  35. Once you start to habituate your Ear Noise, don’t try to perceive whether it is still there. Stop thinking about it and move on. Within 3-18 months you will marvel at how far you have come!
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  37. Remember to self counsel

You need to explain to yourself that the brain is capable of habituating or ignoring any sound regardless of volume level and pitch. Although the intial cause of your ear noise may have been damage to the ear the ongoing perception of the ear noise has its roots in the auditory nerve, cortical filters and cerebreal cortex of the brain. Usually some severe emotional or physical stress has been associated with the sound so that the renegade auditory sound was allowed to be passed through cortical filters and perceived by the brain. You need to understand the conditions that caused your ear noise to begin. Through TRT counseling or Self counseling you can consciously understand that the ongoing perception of the noise is not so much an ear problem as a higher level brain function. By explaining to yourself that this brain function is a normal process, that the sound is not threatening and is continuing to being perceived you will eventually be able to rewire your brain to habituate the sound. The first goal is habituation of reaction where the sound is no longer bothersome and does not trigger a negative response. The second step is habituation of perception where you no longer be able to hear the sound,

The use of sound therapy using white noise and self counseling will allow you to achieve these goals. Once you have met the goals of “habituation of reaction” and “habituation of perception” you may be able to start to ween yourself off white noise. You will require your MP3 player less for white noise and more for what it was intended: playing music or simply not using at all.

Links to organizations that provide counseling, an explanation of how the brain works and the brain's habituation response are provided under the Links tab. For self counseling, we recommend reading (and periodic re-reading) of the EarAces Link.

 

Disclaimer: All of the products available as links from this website are sold for entertainment and relaxation purposes only. Natural Power Ltd. does not accept responsibility for any misuse or possible injury resulting from their use. We recommend that you obtain advice from your own physician prior to undertaking any new therapy.

Copyright © 2005 - 2008 Natural Power Ltd.

 
 

"I suffered from Tinnitus and tried pretty much everything; vitamins, acupressure, hypnotism and supplements with limited success. As I was always looking for a cause it never occurred to me there may actually be a process to reduce the severity of the symptoms. My health professional told me that Tinnitus Retraining Therapy and other therapies are reserved for more severe cases. For the past year I have just lived with it. NoiseRelief.com provides practical tips and resources to lessen ear noise. The recommended routines are good forcing you to stick to a plan. Some days are better than others and on some weekend days I actually forget about the noise. After 7 months of using the system the Tinnitus no longer bothers me. If you haven’t gone with full blown Tinnitus Retraining Therapy I would recommend the Noise Relief system as a good symptom relief approach."


"After obtaining Tinnitus as a result of a stuffed Eustachian tube, followed by a loud noise I met with medical doctor and ears nose and throat (ENT) guy. My audiogram and eardrum were fine so the ENT proclaimed everything was fine and “Don’t Worry”. Well everything wasn’t fine. My tinnitus seemed to get worse on the report there was nothing I could do about it but better when I had heard from a family friend that they had it for about a year and then it simply disappeared. My tinnitus definitely was affected by emotions.

At times the noise got so bad that it sound like a jet engine. I was near the end of my rope. When I discovered the sound therapy treatment and chose a daily planner based on the Noise Relief system the severity of Tinnitus was greatly reduced. Now I use the white noise therapy about 3 hours per day especially before bedtime or when the noise is especially loud. I am now back to about 8 hours per day in sleep. I’m grateful that someone put a system in place, and given order and happiness back into my life."