How Tinnitus Maskers Work

At ADCO our focus is to serve as a resource for those living with a hearing loss other conditions of the ear. Our product specialists answer questions pertaining to tinnitus on a near-daily basis, and we have gathered together to create this comprehensive guide on HOW the tinnitus maskers that we offer can help you, or someone you know, in coping with the effects of tinnitus. 

Tinnitus is the perception of noise, most commonly ringing, in the ears but tinnitus itself is not an actual condition – it is a symptom. For most, tinnitus Is the symptom of an underlying condition such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury, or a circulatory system disorder1

Although tinnitus is not considered a serious condition, it can have serious effects on your quality of life. These phantom noises can range from clicking to hissing to even roaring (and a vast array of sounds in between) and result in a decrease in concentration, difficulty sleeping, and significant impacts to mental health. Before we discuss how the tinnitus maskers we offer can provide some relief, it is important to first discuss when you should seek medical help.

  1. If you develop tinnitus after an upper respiratory infection, including a cold, and the tinnitus does not improve within a week;
  2. If you have sudden tinnitus that occurs without an apparent cause
  3. If you are also experiencing sudden hearing loss and/or dizziness

The use of a tinnitus masker will not address medical issues – you should always seek the advice of a medical professional. 

The use of a tinnitus masker is considered a “sound-based therapy” to help you cope with the impacts that tinnitus is having on your daily life. While a masker is NOT a cure, it can help in a number of ways:

  • By using external noise, a masker can “trick” your brain into hearing a different sound. This is where the term “masker” comes from; the sounds emitted from the device mask the sounds of your tinnitus.
  • Many times you can become fixated on the sounds of your tinnitus, heightening their negative effects. The use of a masker, particularly one playing sounds other than basic white noise, can distract you (and your brain) into hearing other sounds. This can be particularly helpful at nighttime where tinnitus is inhibiting sleep.
  • Since the sounds of your tinnitus are perceived and not actual external sounds, the prolonged use of a tinnitus masker can help your brain to reclassify tinnitus as an unimportant sound that can be consciously ignored2.

If you feel that you may benefit from a masker, it can be overwhelming to sort through the many options available to you. 

At ADCO we offer a large selection of tinnitus masking devices and accessories, but we understand that finding the right option can be difficult. To assist, here are some questions that you should ask yourself before you attempt to narrow down the options:

  1. When is my tinnitus most intrusive? (i.e. at night, making sleep difficult, or perhaps during the day?). Having this information will help you identify the portability needs of your device.
  2. Do you hear more than one sound? How loud does it seem to be (i.e. do you struggle to hear other sounds?). This information will help you to identify if you need customizable sounds and/or amplification.
  3. If your tinnitus is most noticeable at night, do you share a room with a partner? If so, the use of pillow speakers or sleepphones can help limit the impact to your partner if you are concerned about the introduction of sound into the room limiting their ability to sleep.
  4. Do you prefer soundtracks such as nature sounds, or white noise? This will help you identify what type of sounds to look for in a device.
  5. Do you travel? If yes, your tinnitus travels with you – find a device that is going to work well on-the-go. 

Armed with answers to these questions, you are well prepared to easily narrow down your options and find the perfect solution for you. But if you are not completely certain, here are some additional resources:

  • Our product experts are happy to help you select the right item – please call us at 800-726-0851 or email your information to us at sales@adcohearing.com
  • Watch our product feature video on our Bluetooth Tinnitus Masker by clicking here.
  • Take a look at our Top 5 Tinnitus Masker chart to help find the right product for your needs. 

1Mayo Clinic | Diseases & Conditions, Tinnitus: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156

2American Tinnitus Association | Sound Therapies: https://www.ata.org/managing-your-tinnitus/treatment-options/sound-therapies