Tinnitus, which affects 15% of Americans, is an incredibly frustrating condition to live with. Tinnitus manifests as a persistent ringing in one’s ears, and is often caused by long-term exposure to loud noise. Unfortunately there is no lasting cure, but there are ways to manage and treat tinnitus. One way to endure tinnitus episodes is through music and sound therapy.
Treating Tinnitus through Music
In 2010, German researchers experienced a breakthrough with tinnitus patients. Using their knowledge of the brain, they theorized that music could help reorganize the auditory cortex, which is the part of the brain that perceives sound.
Participants in the study chose their favorite music and then the scientists “notched” the songs—meaning they removed the sounds that were of the same frequency of each participant’s tinnitus. Each person listened to their notched music for about 12 hours a week for a year, and researchers reported that participants noted significant improvements in their tinnitus—namely, the ringing was not as loud.
Based on this and other tinnitus research, there is now automated software that can create notched music for anyone who would like to try it. AudioNotch helps you find your tinnitus tone and can process out that frequency from any music you upload. Add a whole playlist of your favorite songs and listen to them on a daily basis—it might give you tinnitus relief!
Tinnitus Playlists Online
There are many tinnitus playlists that people with tinnitus have created and shared online. The TinnitusTalk forum has a public playlist that anyone can listen to that is comprised of soothing ambient music and nature sounds.
Spotify also has several tinnitus playlists that users have made to provide relief for their own condition. Sleep Solutions for Tinnitus has both nature and white noise-like sounds. Tinnitus Aid is comprised of mostly water noises, including soft rain, thunderstorms, and ocean sounds. These sounds can help drown out the ringing in your ears and can also provide comfort and relaxation during these inevitably uncomfortable episodes. These playlists are also good for sleeping or meditating.
Youtube is also a great resource for tinnitus playlists, especially once you find what kinds of noises and sounds best alleviate your symptoms. There are many videos that are 8-10 hours long that you can listen to until you fall asleep, and continue to listen all night.
Audicus has put together a tinnitus playlist of hours of soothing sounds and white and brown noise to alleviate the ringing in your ears. Take a listen and let the sounds of nature overpower your tinnitus. Make sure to listen with earbuds. Have your own favorite tinnitus treatment? Let us know in the comments!