An acquaintance of mine began managing a debilitating case of tinnitus after sustaining a traumatic head injury in a nearly fatal car wreck. The sound can be so overwhelming that she could often be found on the floor of her closet, sobbing while rolled into a fetal position. She’s lived with this noise for more than ten years now, and in that time she’s found that the best way for her to deal with tinnitus is to mask the noise by listening to binaural beats.
Tinnitus is the perception of ringing in the ears. When it’s quiet, it can shift to the foreground of your attention. When it’s noisy, ambient and environmental sounds can “drown out” the hum so that you are barely aware of it. A common problem, it is estimated that tinnitus affects as much as 20 percent of population. Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself — it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.
To treat your tinnitus, your doctor will first try to identify any underlying, treatable condition that may be associated with your symptoms. Plans range from earwax removal to treating blood vessel conditions with medication. However, there is also an approach called “noise suppression”. Experts have found that listening to white noise may help suppress the ringing associated with tinnitus so that it’s less bothersome. Your doctor may suggest using anything from white noise machines to other masking sounds like music or binaural beats.
My friend Kat found that quietly listening to binaural beats on her phone calms her nerves as it masks the constant ringing in her ears, particularly during the quieter parts of the day where the ringing of her tinnitus comes front and center.
Assuming that you have consulted a doctor for the underlying cause of tinnitus, the most obvious piece of music to listen to is Surf Series, a set of three tracks of binaural beats masked by the gentle sound of surf. Each tone set represents a primary brainwave state. Listen to Alpha Surf to focus at the task at hand, Theta Surf for meditation and deep relaxation, and Delta Surf for sleep.
As the tinnitus is particularly irritating as she tries to fall asleep, she especially enjoys putting on her headphones each night to fall asleep to some of my binaural beats music for sleep.
WARNING: This music contains audio brainwave entrainment technologies. People who are subject to seizures, auditory disorders, or adverse mental conditions should not listen to this music without first consulting a physician. DO NOT listen to this music while driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing any other activities that require focused attention. Although binaural beats entrainment audio may contribute to wellness, it is not intended as a replacement for medical or psychological treatment. No medical claims are intended express or implied. No statements made have been evaluated or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For best results, use stereo headphones or earbuds.
Photo by Umair Abbasi
Mayo Clinic Staff, Tinnitus, Mayo Clinic, March 5, 2019
Mayo Clinic Staff, Tinnitus Diagnosis and Treatment, Mayo Clinic, March 5, 2019
Tinntrain: A multifactorial treatment for tinnitus using binaural beats David, J Ben; Naftali, A; Katz, A, The Hearing Journal: November 2010 – Volume 63 – Issue 11 – p 25-26,28 doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000390818.17619.65