Dealing with tinnitus-induced sleep problems can be debilitating, and many of the medications to deal with it come with a litany of adverse side effects. For that reason, we’re exploring a drug-free treatment that can aid in giving you a better night’s sleep and taking a closer look at what tinnitus is and what causes it.
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing noise even when there isn’t any present. People suffering from tinnitus most commonly describe it as a ringing in their ears; others describe it as a buzzing, roaring, clicking, hissing, or humming sound. According to the Mayo Clinic, tinnitus affects 15 to 20 percent of the population.
Causes of tinnitus include ear injuries, exposure to loud noises, and ear and sinus infections. Occasionally treating this condition is as simple as seeing your doctor and removing ear wax or a cyst.
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts Eye and Ear have hypothesized that tinnitus is actually caused by hearing loss. Director of the Lauer Tinnitus Research Center at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Dr. Daniel Polley says the auditory nerve that connects the ear to the brain starts to fray, which causes hearing loss. “In some people, the brain tries to compensate for this loss of input by turning up internal volume. The sensitivity knobs are turned up and now tuned into background sounds in the brain, the same way a microphone picks up the sound of itself when it’s too close to a speaker.”
Sometimes people take sleeping pills to drown out unwanted sounds at night; unfortunately, drugs can have adverse side effects. Other tinnitus-sufferers have even tried cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis to redirect negative thoughts and emotions that people with tinnitus experience. But there could be an easier and more effective way to sleep better despite tinnitus.
Polley says sound maskers can fill the void by providing white noise to mask tinnitus. “You pump more signals through the remaining connections between the ear and the brain, and that can temporarily compensate for the lost connections.” That is, as contradictory as it might sound, you can cancel out the noise of tinnitus by introducing a new noise to counteract it.
However, using earbuds to relieve irritating tinnitus symptoms isn’t a good idea, as they may contribute to hearing loss because of their proximity to your inner ear. Conversely, SleepPhones® headphones don’t enter your ear at all. Plus, their soft fleece headbands fit comfortably around your head while you sleep. While there is no medication that can cure tinnitus, we recommend asking your doctor about using SleepPhones® along with “masking sounds” such as soothing music, white noise, or binaural beats.
“They are invaluable for those who suffer from insomnia, tinnitus, [and] other problems, or for those who want to use them for personal development,” says Osteopath Dr. Boris Golembo. Golembo stumbled across SleepPhones® while looking for high-quality headphones for both himself and his patients to use while sleeping. “I have no hesitation in recommending SleepPhones®.”
If you’re thinking about what you’ll listen to on your new SleepPhones®, consider utilizing The AcousticSheep Harmony Project. It’s a sleep-induction app that uses artificial intelligence to generate, recommend, and deliver the most effective deep sleep-inducing music, rhythms, and sound patterns.
“Harmony has really helped me manage both my tinnitus and my anxiety, masking the ringing in my ears and calming my anxious brain before bed,” says tinnitus sufferer, Andrew Dalton. Dalton developed tinnitus after a decade of working in the automotive industry.
If you have tinnitus, ask your doctor if sleep therapy is right for you. AcousticSheep offers the world’s most comfortable headphones to combat insomnia. If you have a health savings account or flexible spending account from your employer and your doctor prescribes SleepPhones®, the costs can be covered.
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