Everything You Need to Know About Tinnitus Sound Masking Devices

If your tinnitus is getting in the way of everyday life, wearing sound-masking devices can help to alleviate symptoms.

 

Tinnitus is when you hear ringing, humming, or buzzing sounds in one or both ears. These noises come from inside you rather than from an external source.

 

While it’s usually not a severe condition, tinnitus can be debilitating and distressing for some. It can cause concentration issues, insomnia, and even depression.

 

How Does a Tinnitus Masker Work?

 

People suffering from tinnitus will find that the condition worsens in quiet environments. The ringing or buzzing in their ears becomes even louder when there are no other sounds to distract them from it.

 

Fortunately, tinnitus maskers can make the condition less intrusive and bothersome through sound therapy. Tinnitus maskers generate a narrow-band or broad-band noise at a low level to camouflage the presence of tinnitus. These masking noises are also known as white noise.

 

The sound therapy that tinnitus maskers emit can either divert your attention from the tinnitus or help you get used to it so you can learn to ignore it.

Popular Types of Tinnitus Masking Devices

 

While there’s no cure for tinnitus, there are various tinnitus maskers on the market that can help alleviate some of the discomforts you’re feeling. You should consult with your doctor so they can recommend the best kind for you.

Hearing Aids

Many hearing aids have a built-in tinnitus masking feature. They’re a cost-effective option for those with tinnitus and hearing loss, as they eliminate the need for two separate devices.

Shop Tinnitus Masking Hearing Aids

Smartphone Apps

If you want a convenient and affordable solution, you can choose from several tinnitus masker apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. These apps provide sound therapy libraries, guided relaxation exercises, and many other helpful features.

Sound Generators

Sound generators are devices you place on a surface and will emit white noise to mask tinnitus. Some models come with a built-in timer, perfect for those who want to listen to these devices to help them fall asleep.

Wearable Sound Generators

Wearable sound generators function similarly to tabletop sound generators, but you place them inside your ears. They provide a more subtle masking noise so you can listen the entire day as you work or do chores.

 

What Are Sound Masking Hearing Aids for Tinnitus?

 

Tinnitus sound masking hearing aids are different from regular hearing aids. You position the device behind your ear and place its thin tube with a rubber tip inside your ear canal.

 

It provides tinnitus-relieving sound therapy while still letting ambient sounds pass through. Because these hearing aids don’t close off your ear canal, you can still hear what’s happening around you.

 

On the other hand, regular hearing aids address hearing loss. They amplify sounds to help you hear better. However, some models can also help with tinnitus. If you have tinnitus but have normal hearing, you can turn the amplification off and benefit solely from sound therapy.

 

For those with both tinnitus and hearing loss, certain hearing aids can help you hear and relieve your tinnitus.

 

Benefits of Tinnitus Masking Hearing Aids

 

While tinnitus masking hearing aids aren’t a magical solution, they do provide long-lasting benefits to regular wearers, including the following:

Relief

Tinnitus masking hearing aids provide relief from tinnitus symptoms. When you wear them, it can feel like your tinnitus has disappeared. You can relax, enjoy peace of mind, and focus on more important things in life.

Hearing Benefits

A good handful of hearing aids double up as tinnitus maskers. Because hearing loss and tinnitus usually go hand in hand, these two-in-one devices benefit those with both conditions. Not only do these devices drown out the tinnitus, but they also help you hear better.

Non-Invasive

You won’t experience any pain when you wear tinnitus-masking hearing aids. They’re a gentle and non-invasive form of treatment, and you can take them off whenever you want. However, you should wear them regularly for the best results.

Speech Understanding

Chronic tinnitus can cause dysfunctional central auditory processing and peripheral hearing loss, affecting patients’ understanding of speech. A tinnitus-masking hearing aid can help combat these issues and improve speech comprehension and recognition.

Disadvantages of Sound Masking Hearing Aids

 

While tinnitus masking hearing aids don’t have any adverse effects on a patient’s health, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of:

Price

Tinnitus masking hearing aids aren’t cheap. But even though they’re heavy on the wallet, the benefits outweigh the cost.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance doesn’t usually cover tinnitus masking hearing aids. Patients with minimal hearing loss may find it especially hard to get financial assistance for hearing aids.

Sound Sensitivity

Patients with sound sensitivity might find tinnitus-masking hearing aids uncomfortable to wear. Masking hearing aids with a sound-intensifying feature can be unbearable to those with hyperacusis.

How Much Do Tinnitus Hearing Aids Cost?

 

Tinnitus hearing aids fall under a wide price range, costing between $400 to $9,000 per piece.

You can check different clinics and stores to see if they offer device and service bundles. Shopping for hearing aids online can generally help you reduce your costs. Online hearing aid stores like Audicus are able to reduce costs by cutting out the middleman and offering virtual hearing care.

Will Sound Masking Help Me?

 

How can you know if tinnitus maskers will be a good fit for you?

Speak with a hearing specialist who can help you find the best product for your needs and come up with individualized recommendations best suited for your specific hearing loss.

Another way is to try the faucet test.

Stand next to a sink and turn the tap on at full blast. If you can only hear the running water and the tinnitus, then there’s a good chance that tinnitus maskers will work for you.

Audicus Hearing Aids for Masking Tinnitus 

 

The Omni: 

  1. Speech finder capabilities
  2. Adaptive-directional microphones
  3. Soft speech intensifier
  4. Equalizer
  5. Auto-adapt (6 programs)
  6. Tinnitus masker

One Silver Rechargeable Bluetooth Hearing Aid - The Spirit

Shop The Omni

The Spirit 

  1. Auto-adapt (4 programs)
  2. Soft speech intensifier
  3. Equalizer
  4. Tinnitus masker

One Silver Rechargeable Bluetooth Hearing Aid - The Spirit

Shop The Spirit

The Wave

  1. Auto-adapt (4 programs)
  2. Tinnitus masker

One Silver Rechargeable Bluetooth Hearing Aid - The Spirit

Shop The Wave

The Mini

  1. Auto-adapt (4 programs)
  2. Equalizer
  3. Tinnitus masker

Red and Blue Invisible Aura Hearing Aids

Shop The Mini

 

 

FAQs

Does sound masking work?

Sound masking can be an effective treatment for tinnitus. It can produce a stream of white noise to help reduce the intrusive ringing in your ears, allowing you to be at peace.

Does insurance cover hearing aids for tinnitus?

Unfortunately, most insurance companies don’t provide coverage for tinnitus hearing aids, especially if you don’t have significant hearing loss.

Can a hearing aid stop tinnitus?

Hearing aids don’t cure Tinnitus, but they do offer relief from the symptoms. They can distract you from the ringing in your ears or help you get used to it.