Benefits of using Nature Sounds for Tinnitus Treatment
In the first article of this series we established that suffering from Tinnitus is a very undesirable condition. We also looked at some of the causes of Tinnitus, like exposure to excessive noise, certain medications or stress. We continued our exploration by suggesting a number of strategies to reduce the harmful causes (e.g. Wearing ear-muffs in noisy working environments, reducing stress) and looked at some of the therapies that are currently in use. These include hearing aids, taking anti-depressants, supplements, cognitive therapy and a great many others. However, the problem with these treatment methods is that they are either expensive, require a lot of time, are potentially embarrassing or have side-effects. Sound therapies seem to be an alternative that addresses most of the disadvantages of the other treatments, however, as we can see from the scientific data, not every form of sound therapy is effective. The very questionable white noise treatment for example was shown to have no measurable effect on Tinnitus. On the other hand, we saw that treatment with modulated pure tones can have a beneficial effect, however, this effect seems to disappear shortly after the treatment has ended.
Finally we looked at a study that used bedside sound generators that played nature sounds in order to help Tinnitus sufferers to get to sleep. The results from this study were overwhelmingly positive and at statistically significant levels (you remember that this is the most important measure of success in scientific studies, right?). The improvement in sleep quality was significant for the majority of participants. However, for about one fourth of the patients the use of the bedside sound generators did not work, so the efficacy seems to depend on other factors as well and it might not work for everyone. Saying that, the best measure for the success appears to be that 90% of participants continued to use the nature sounds after the study had ended. It should be mentioned though that some of the sounds from the sound device that was used in the above study were of rather poor quality, however, sound quality is of highest importance in health care applications, as argued in the book chapter 'The importance and creation of high-quality sounds in healthcare applications'* and that my sounds are of very high quality, hence the experience is much better.
In contrast to the disadvantages of the other methods described earlier, the benefits of listening to nature sounds for Tinnitus treatment are
Instead of a bedside stereo you may want to try using earbuds as pretty much any standard pair of ear plugs are likely to be better in quality than a cheap alarm clock with music functionality. Ear plugs also have the benefit that the sounds are not audible to the partner who may not have Tinnitus problems. Also, some people prefer to sleep on their side and in these cases ear buds may become uncomfortable. To avoid this, try creating a cavity underneath your ear so that the earbud does not put pressure on the ear. If this does not work you may want to try special headphones for use in bed or use a pillow with built in speakers.
When was the last time you had a good sleep and woke up rested and relaxed, ready to embrace the day?
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Fassbender, E., Jones, C., (2014) The importance and creation of high-quality sounds in healthcare applications, in Virtual, Augmented Reality and Serious Games for Healthcare 1, by Minhua Ma, Lakhmi C. Jain, Paul Anderson [Eds.], May 2014, Springer
Keywords: Nature Sound Benefits, Nature Sounds for Tinnitus Treatment, Cheap Tinnitus Treatment, Natural Tinnitus Therapy