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  • Writer's pictureKevin Hale

How White Noise Can Help Those Struggling with Tinnitus or Sensitive Hearing

White noise” is defined as a noise that is created by combining the sounds of all the different frequencies together. Think of it as the audio version of white light, which is created by combining all the different colors (or frequencies of light) together. The result is a static or low level hissing sound that many have used to mask out unwanted sounds or create a calming atmosphere for infants. It turns out that it can also be beneficial in treating tinnitus and sensitive hearing in individuals who are having trouble sleeping.

Picture of a woman's ear

People with tinnitus often hear ringing, buzzing, or other phantom sounds in their ears. It can cause a great deal of distress for those experiencing it and is frequently an indication of other underlying issues, such as hearing loss or exposure to loud noise. White noise can be helpful for disguising tinnitus sounds and promoting a more tranquil sleep environment.

A person with sensitive hearing is one who is especially sensitive to sounds or is easily startled by loud noises. For those who find it difficult to relax in noisy places or who have trouble falling asleep in these kind of environments, this condition can be very challenging. People with sensitive hearing may find it easier to relax and get to sleep if white noise is used to block out other noises and foster calm.

There are several ways that people struggling with these conditions can use white noise to improve sleep quality. One option is to use a white noise skill on your Amazon Echo device. These skills are basically like apps on your phone, but are called "skills." When installed on your device, you are able to ask Alexa to access a variety of white noise sounds simply by using your voice. You may install a white noise skill on your Alexa either with the Alexa app or in the Alexa Skills Store. Once the skill is installed you’ll need to ask Alexa to open the program (ie. “Alexa, open Fade Away Sleep Sounds”), then you can simply say, "Alexa, play thunderstorm sounds" or "Alexa, play ocean sounds" to start the sound.

Utilizing a white noise app on a tablet or smartphone is an another option. These apps also include a vast selection of white noise noises that can be played on your phone or sent through speakers or headphones. Many of these skills and apps offer features such as volume controls or slow fades to silence, and may be programmed to run endlessly or play for a pre determined amount of time, which can be extremely helpful in customizing exactly the right condition for your specific needs.

Additionally, reducing the volume of outside noise with earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones and maintaining a cool, dark bedroom also can improve sleep.

In general, white noise can be a useful aid for persons who have sensitive hearing or tinnitus. It can enhance sleep quality and encourage relaxation by muffling outside noises and creating a calming atmosphere. if you are dealing with these issues, try using white noise to help create a more pleasant sleep environment.

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