Combating Tinnitus with White Noise

Most people have heard of Tinnitus, and in fact tens of millions have been in need of Tinnitus relief at some time or other. How many people though have heard of Tinnitus relief through the application of white noise ? I would dare to say, not too many !

What is ‘white noise’ ?

White Noise

The constant sound of rainfall is often used as white noise to combat tinnitus

White noise is made up by producing sounds of different frequencies, and mixing them together to form a consistent sound.  If you add all the different frequencies that the human ear can pick up and shove them in a mixer, then you would have ‘white noise’. However it can in fact be a repetative noise of any kind that the listener finds distracting enough to ignore the ringing, whining or rushing noise in their head.

To give a better ‘mind picture’,  just imagine that white light is in fact made up from many different colors in the spectrum, a rainbow for instance separates the light back into its component  colors. In this same way, white sound combines all the different frequencies or sounds to produce just one continuous background noise.

Remember the old style analogue TV sets, when at night the program finished and you had the snow effect on the screen with a continuous ssshhhhhh noise ? that was white noise. Just think Steven Spielberg and the Poltergeist movie – scary stuff !

Tinnitus relief through white sound?

The concept of getting tinnitus relief through distracting the brain is not new, in fact it is probably one of the oldest techniques around for ‘curing’ tinnitus. Many tinnitus sufferers have had to cope with tinnitus by playing the radio, especially at bed-time in order to get some sleep. The constant background noise helps to distract the brain from the noise in their ears.

Whilst this may  help a little, it is not so good for the partner lying next to them for whom the noise may in fact keep them awake! However, not to be too negative it must be said that it can be quite effective at drowning out the sound of tinnitus.

A simple way of testing the efficacy of white noise against tinnitus, is to turn on a fan. The subsequent noise generated between the machine and the whirling blades, is often enough to distract the brain away from the ‘noise within’ therby offering some relief.

Silence through noise ?

Here is another way to approach it. Say for instance there are a couple of people speaking in a group; you may be able to hear the overall conversation quite easily. What if we increase that to a crown of 50 people ? This would change the whole scenario and you would find that instead of a conversation that you could follow, you would just have a constant noise with no real focus to it. This is an approximation of white noise.

White Noise River Sounds

In the video above you have a good example of this white noise concept as a small stream gurgles as it meanders through a wooded glen. It is a tranquil scene designed to inspire calmness to the soul, and a distraction for the mind/ear. Personally I would prefer a nice beach scene with waves gently lapping on the shore and birds singing in the background. I was going to show a video of constant rain falling as a white noise example, Unfortunately some people (including myself) will find this white sound very irritating, whilst others will find it very calming ! However I prefer this example of white sound and who knows – it may just get you the tinnitus relief you seek .

Meanwhile I’m going to get myself a coffee. Sit back on my easy chair and listen to the calming sounds. Maybe even dream about my next exotic cruise – I live in hope 🙂

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