Audio Treatment for Chronic Tinnitus

tinnitus treatments #5: notched audio therapy

Treatments #5: Notched Audio Therapy

In this post we are going to focus on the notched audio therapy method that we are using to improve the perception until even get rid of tinnitus.

Notched Audio Therapy.

Audio therapies

Treating a hearing problem with audio does not seem illogical. In fact, audio techniques occupy a place of choice among methods of treatment of tinnitus.
Some of them simply aim to mask it, or to make its presence more bearable, even neutral. We are talking here about habituation, and/ or masking. These techniques generally also include a psychological component.
But others, like the one we will focus on today, have the vocation to reduce tinnitus and up to eliminate it.


notched audio therapy


For a better understanding of the functioning of the ear, tinnitus and the variety of their causes, we invite you to consult the post ‘ear and tinnitus‘.
The audio treatment method that we are going to talk about here doesn’t concern the so-called “objectives” tinnitus for which we can identify a cause that we can treat to solve the problem. And its also works only with tonal tinnitus which is the most common.

In most cases, tinnitus is a sound mistakenly created by someone’s brain. This usually happens because the brain attempts to adjust for hearing loss, whatever the cause of the loss.
This then leads to some reorganization of the neural circuits of the brain involved in the sound representation. A parasitic ‘sound’ appears, it is tinnitus.

It is important to note here that specialists today agree that tinnitus should be analysed and treated by considering the whole formed by the ear and by the areas of the brain involved in the interpretation of auditory signals.


Notched Audio Therapy

It was theorized and developed at Muenster in Germany in the 1990s by a team of multidisciplinary researchers.
Real-world tests were carried out there, and further studies were carried out in Italy.
Field trials showed a significant improvement in the perception of tinnitus in about 75% of treated subjects.
Studies have also shown that the beneficial effects obtained remain acquired over a period of time at least.


Tinnitus identification.

Treatment begins with an identification of the tinnitus frequency. This is a necessary prerequisite for the definition of the sounds that will be used to process it.
In practice, the user will listen to sounds of pure tonality, that is to say consisting of a single frequency, and vary this frequency until identifying the sound, and therefore the frequency, which corresponds best to that of his tinnitus.
Identifying the frequency of tinnitus can be tricky, because the sound proposed for identification probably does not correspond exactly to the tinnitus sound felt by the user. It is in fact for the user to identify as precisely as possible the frequency of his tinnitus, while not focusing on the sound by itself.

This identification does not need to be perfect, but its accuracy will condition the efficiency of the treatment.
The identification process can also be carried out at a hearing specialist, who has an audiometer.
For more information about that, please consult the post ‘Frequencies and decibels’.


Notched sounds.

Notched Sound Therapies offer listening to sounds specifically adapted to your tinnitus.
They have the particularity of being ‘filtered’ or ‘notched’. This means that the energy of the sound wave has been eliminated by an audio processing around the identified frequency of tinnitus: this is the notch.
In other words, “Notching” sound lowers and may even completely remove the volume at a particular frequency, in this case the tinnitus frequency.

Notched Audio Therapy is the use of audio that is “notched” at your tinnitus frequency.
This process may have been applied to ‘classic’ music, as well as to different sorts of experimental or custom sound that have been created in order to treat the hearing system malfunction.
The chosen frequency to proceed audio does not need to perfect fit the exact frequency of your tinnitus: your real tinnitus frequency just need to fall within the “notch”.


notched audio therapy benefits


Benefits of notched audio therapy.

Regular listening to these calibrated sounds will lead to a reorganization of the circuits of neurons responsible for tinnitus.
In other words, notched sounds help reverse your brain’s adjustment error and as a result may lower the volume of your tinnitus.
We can talk here about neurological unlearning, since this technique aims by a regular listening of targeted sounds and adated to your tinnitus to work on the circuits of faulty neurons in order to disconnect them.

Simple to implement and inexpensive, this method nevertheless requires a minimum of daily practice over a period of time to be effective.
Ideally thirty minutes daily are recommended but filtered sounds can be listened to without time limit, for example at low volume during the night.
But even if it is to be seen as a medium-term treatment lasting several months, the user is generally likely to notice a reduction in tinnitus volume as quickly as several days into treatment.


In conclusion

Due to its ease of implementation and low cost, filtered or notched audio therapy is a treatment of choice for chronic tinnitus.
Another advantage of this technique is that it targets the reduction until the disappearance of tinnitus by acting directly on its root causes, and not an effect of acclimatization or masking that can only be useful and beneficial in the short term.
We therefore recommend trying …
The treatment can be carried out at home in daily life without disrupting the lifestyle, and without too much bursting!


Related Posts

treatments #7 - using ear aids

Treatments# 7: Using Ear Aids

Today, many hearing aid manufacturers include tinnitus solutions in their hearing aids to help patients regain their hearing peace.
Known as “tinnitus noiser” or “tinnitus masker”, these tinnitus solutions are now offered on many high-end hearing aids for personalised hearing comfort day and night.
These hearing aids can help patients with tinnitus with or without hearing loss and can also be used as a complement to the treatment of hearing loss if this is the case.

Read More »
treatments #6 - sophrology and similar ways

Treatments #6: Sophrology

We are going to be interested here in Sophrology as well as in other disciplines which use relaxation techniques associated with methods aiming at working on or re-structuring our emotions to achieve a better acceptance of tinnitus.

Read More »

Check your tinnitus

Free Audio Check

Tinnitus Handicap Inventory

Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire

How to use the player

First be sure to place yourself in a quiet environment.

Use a headphone; you should only hear your tinnitus and the frequency test.

Play the synthesizer ( PLAY / PAUSE) and adjust the volume to your convenience – ideally at the same level as the perception of your tinnitus.

In the case where you would have several tinnitus, focus on the one you most perceive.

Then vary the frequency using the previous / next arrows, until you find the frequency that best matches your tinnitus.

Do not hesitate to pause / play the sound in order to compare better.

Take your time to be as sure as possible.

Frequency range of the tool goes from 78Hz (D#1) up to 9956Hz (D#8).
The frequency area covered represents 7 octaves.
If you are not familiar with these concepts, we invite you to read our post dedicated to Frequencies and Decibels.