23 Sep Back To Basics: Sound Generators/Tinnitus Manager
What is the Tinnitus Manager?
For many individuals with hearing loss (and some without), they also have to cope with tinnitus. Tinnitus is the presence of a sound in the head/ears (e.g. ringing, buzzing, etc) that is not present in the environment. This can cause a degree of annoyance, aggravation, difficulty concentrating/sleeping, and other undesirable emotions. With appropriate counselling and diagnosis by your audiologist, certain individuals with tinnitus would benefit from a device containing a sound generator (also known as a tinnitus manager).
Several hearing aids have the capability of internally generating sounds that are not present in the environment. The sound generators are used to produce various sounds that can help reduce the perceived loudness of tinnitus (ear or head noise). In the short term, this helps reduce some of the negative emotions associated with tinnitus (as the manager provides relief from the tinnitus). In the long term, if the device is appropriately used, it can help re-train the brain to be more accepting of the tinnitus, ultimately reducing the loudness of the tinnitus with or without the device.
Each manufacturer that offers tinnitus management has a different approach; examples of different sounds used by your audiologist include zen tones, white noise, and enviornmental sounds. These sounds are adjusted to mix and blend with your tinnitus.
What does it mean for you?
If an individual has tinnitus, the tinnitus manager can provide relief from the disturbance that tinnitus can present to someone’s daily living. It helps take their mind off of the internal sound, so they can focus on the external world.