Tinnitus Music Therapy
Tinnitus music therapy is an approach to treating tinnitus with sounds. This could include ocean waves crashing or falling water, white noise, soothing music or even meditative sounds such as chanting or Tibetan singing bowls. Many people find these types of sounds helpful for relaxing and reducing anxiety which in turn may ease some symptoms associated with tinnitus.
Tinnitus sound therapy apps are increasingly being used in medical settings to mask it. From hearing aids and earbuds to home audio systems, sound therapy apps offer a convenient solution that can be downloaded onto wireless headphones or traditional earbuds for comfortable management of tinnitus symptoms.
Notched sound therapy utilizes a digitally filtered band of music centered on the patient’s tinnitus frequency to create an audible notch in the sound spectrum. This helps restore equilibrium between excitatory and inhibitory nerve signals in the auditory center back toward normal levels.
This treatment is effective for both men and women with tinnitus caused by hearing loss, as long as the frequency of the sound is below 8,000 Hz. After five days of listening to this type of music, loudness of tinnitus decreased by 20%; further reduction was observed after 31 days of continuous listening.
Some tinnitus sufferers find relief by streaming music through their smartphone or tablet at low volume, which can serve as background noise while working or relaxing. There are numerous sound therapy apps designed specifically for this condition available and numerous YouTube channels offering hours of soothing sounds to drown out the ringing in your ears.
Apps offer an accessible way to experiment with sound therapy, but it’s best to consult your doctor first before using any tinnitus-related sound or music app. This can be achieved through consultation with an audiologist who specializes in treating tinnitus and who can suggest suitable applications.
A novel approach to treating tinnitus called Music-CBT has been found to be more successful than CBT. This treatment combines music tailored specifically for tinnitus with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), with the purpose of improving self-management and relieving symptoms by addressing their cause rather than simply treating symptoms.
Researchers observed that participants in the Music-CBT group experienced a decrease in tinnitus loudness and annoyance after 3 months of therapy compared to those in the CBT group. This could be attributed to an altered approach to processing information, an essential step for improving self-management of symptoms and controlling emotions.
After long-term treatment with tinnitus music, the EC differential index, which measures differences between tinnitus and non-tinnitus sounds, decreased in the Music-CBT group. This may be attributed to an increase in spectral power which can be used as a measure of attention.