According to the American Academy of Audiology, tinnitus is an invisible condition affecting 10-15% of adults. Chronic tinnitus is defined as the persistent perception of sound when there is no external source. It is generally accepted that tinnitus is manageable and not bothersome for about 80% of those who experience it. That is, most people who experience tinnitus tend to ignore it and are not interested in receiving specialized clinical services.
For the remaining 20%, however, tinnitus disturbs sleep, impairs concentration, and/or causes negative emotional reactions – all to different degrees. These 20% are the ones in greatest need of clinical services. People with tinnitus most likely have had noise exposure that caused auditory damage, resulting in both tinnitus and hearing loss. And that is where we, the audiologists, come in.
Although many therapies for tinnitus are available, most do not have the support of rigorous scientific research. There is no cure for tinnitus, and, despite claims that are found on the Internet, no method has been shown to permanently suppress the perception of tinnitus. To help patients, it is therefore necessary to lessen the functional effects of tinnitus.
Those people with tinnitus accompanied by hearing loss can usually achieve relief through use of hearing aids. If amplification alone is not enough, today’s hearing aids contain tinnitus maskers, which help the brain listen to a noise other than the annoying sound of the tinnitus.
For those people who have trouble getting to sleep because of tinnitus, having an exterior noise can cover up the tinnitus to allow sleep to happen. A relatively new product, My Butterfly Pillow, allows a sound app to provide masking for the tinnitus. Especially if you are a side sleeper, this pillow can provide relief. As a side sleeper (62% of the population) you are trying to fill the gap from your ear down to the end of your shoulder. This gap cannot be filled by a regular pillow.
Adaptive Bluetooth technology allows you to listen to any white noise app, audio books or even television directly through this pillow via the Night Owl Speakers. The Bluetooth technology will allow you to hear the audio without disturbing your sleeping partner. It is also “height adjustable”. By simply removing the bottom Riser of the pillow, the user can reduce the height of the pillow by 1.25 inches (3.175cm).
The first step to relieving the annoying symptoms of tinnitus is a complete hearing evaluation. Tell the audiologist all about the noises in your ears so that a tinnitus program can be implemented.