The ears might seem hardy, but your hearing can be damaged for any number of reasons. Often this damage can lead to symptoms of hearing loss that include tinnitus. If you have tinnitus, it means that you hear phantom sounds. People with tinnitus describe the sounds in a number of ways--hissing, whining, ringing, and buzzing are the more common ones. These sounds can range from mildly annoying to distracting to debilitating. Tinnitus isn't always permanent, but for millions of people it is. Although there is no pill to cure tinnitus there are ways to manage it. A newer technique involves the use of tinnitus apps, either on their own or paired with a hearing aid.
Managing tinnitus means easing the presence of annoying and intrusive sounds. There are a number of different strategies that provide help for people. They include decreasing caffeine, binaural beats (Take note some people claim binaural beats actually makes their symptoms worse), Magnetic Brain Stimulation, and the hearing aid solution. Other popular management tools include masking-- distracting from tinnitus by using pleasant sounds or white noise--and sound therapy or residual inhibition--temporarily quieting tinnitus by matching the frequency or tone made by tinnitus. Both of these techniques can now be tried with the use of free or inexpensive apps and if you have hearing aids that connect to your phone, you can transmit these sounds directly into your ears. Below is a list of a few useful apps for tinnitus management.
Developed by hearing aid manufacturer, Phonak--the company has an impressive record, manufacturing hearing aids and developing technologies that advance the sciences of hearing loss. According to the manufacturer, "Our sound amplifier and tinnitus masker App is developed by a team of otolaryngologists and mobile application developers, for people with hearing problems interested in learn about useful sounds for tinnitus improvement and sound amplification." Not only does this app provide a way to mask tinnitus, but it also provides answers and other possible solutions for tinnitus and connects users with others who have tinnitus. You can download this app for $2.99 HERE
By Raise Awareness LLC
StopTinnitus Pro is based on sound therapy or residual inhibition. That's the idea that if you match the sound of your tinnitus to a sound source, you can temporarily stop the tinnitus. People have varying rates of success with this, but according the manufacturer, "Based on sound therapy , StopTinnitus provides a flexible and easy to use interface for tone cancellation." The app is a bit expensive at $8.99. You can find this iPhone app HERE
Relax Noise 3 - Tinnitus Mask
Martin Nathansen Health & Fitness
Relax Noise 3 - Tinnitus Mask uses red, pink, or red background noise to distract from the ever-present sound of tinnitus. This app comes with a programable timer, so that you can schedule it to go off during sleep and don't wind up listening to the noise for too long. This is an important feature, because your hearing can be damaged by listening too long to even sounds that aren't considered damaging for short periods. That's why they say, too long, too loud, and too close when warning people about noise induced hearing loss. This Android app has a 4.1 star rating out of five, with over 600 reviews. You can download this free app HERE
With over 73,000 five star reviews on Apple and the price tag of free there's every reason to try this app. Though this app doesn't specifically mention tinnitus, it can be used as a masker at night to help ease tinnitus and improve sleep. This app comes with an alarm and timer. You can upgrade to a lifetime access for $9.99. According to the manufacturer, "The ability to choose from white noises ambient sounds and binaural beats gives you total customization for an unique and personal experience." You can buy this app for iPhone HERE and for Android HERE
If you are interested in finding hearing aids already equipped with masking sounds or hearing aids that can connect to your phone allowing you to transmit these sounds directly to your ears, see your hearing health professional. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!