British Tinnitus Association
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earphones for T at bedtime

earphones for T at bedtime

I posted for the first time yesterday and after my first week of hell with T I am so glad I found this forum.

I am now looking at earphones to wear (see picture) to help me sleep whilst listening to T therapy noises. I find wearing normal ear phones are uncomfortable and prevent me from sleeping on my side. I have come across headband/eyemask's with built in earphones. They also come with bluetooth so no more cables to worry about in bed.

The prices range from £7 to £70 but I have no idea what fits the purpose. Before I take a punt , may I ask if anyone else is using this type of sleeping device?

4 Replies

Hi Graham, I've not tried those so can't comment on them. I did buy a pair of pillow speakers that you put under your pillow at night. The idea being that only you can hear them so you don't disturb your partner but I didn't really get on with them. I found they moved around a lot and that my ear had to be directly over a speaker to be able to hear it properly and even then I'm sure the pillow was muffling much of the sound. Maybe it's just our pillows as I think others find them ok. Now I just put my phone on my bedside table and play the sounds directly from my phone's speaker. I keep the volume pretty low and it doesn't keep my wife awake.

I only play these nature sounds at night. Outdoors during the day I find there is plenty of background noise to distract me. At home the tv is nearly always on and if it isn't I have the radio on. If that doesn't appeal I see no reason why you shouldn't play your nature sounds at home during the day. Anything is better than a quiet room. Although opinions vary somewhat, I think the general advice is not to use earphones or headphones at all as it can aggravate your T - especially if your T was caused by sound damage. I would go along with this, at least in the early stages. You need to give things a chance to settle down. I will admit that I do use headphones to listen to music and tv at a low volume with no ill effect, but like I say it's probably best not to risk it early on.


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Hi again Graham, I have a Firik speaker headband similar to the above, got it on amazon for £11.99 it's relatively comfortable but I can't seem to get on with sound at night, personally.

I think it's because when I take my hearing aids out I'm more or less deaf in my left ear, which is the one with the tinnitus, so sounds aren't getting in there, just hearing them through my right ear seems to make my T louder for some reason.

I play my amazon jungle sounds on the bedside table while I'm reading in bed, turn it off and take my hearing aids out very last thing before lying down, then hope I can fall asleep really quickly! If I'm really tired it usually works.

Hope you find what works for you soon -Bev x

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Hi Graham,

I have read your previous post and fully understand what you are going through, and that you want to try and get some sleep at night without hearing the noise of tinnitus. I don't want to add to your distress but feel I should mention a few things regarding using earphones or headband with speakers that you are considering to purchase to use at night.

This isn't a good idea in my opinion nor does it follow the advice and teachings of Professor Pawel Jasterboff, founder of TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy) that all Hearing Therapists and Audiologists follow when practicing this treatment with tinnitus patients.

There should be no attempt to "mask" tinnitus so that it can't be heard. In most cases this will be unsuccessful and often the tinnitus it will appear louder and more intrusive as soon as the "source", whether it's music or nature sounds is removed, as the brain cannot habituate to tinnitus unless it is able to hear it. The correct way to use "sound enrichment" is to use a stand alone sound machine by your bedside and set it to play throughout the night until morning, keeping the volume slightly lower than the tinnitus. I believe Sound Oasis sound machines are the best devices to use at night for sound enrichment. They can also be attached to a pillow speaker for privacy. When using a pillow speaker the volume should be kept lower than the tinnitus.


PS: Although some people with tinnitus listen to audio through headphones without noticing any increase in their tinnitus, it is something I am strongly against, especially when the tinnitus was caused by exposure to loud noise. Many people with tinnitus have contacted me after noticing their tinnitus becoming more intrusive after using headphones, even when the volume is kept low. Some ENT doctors say, as long as the volume is kept low no harm will be done, while others advice not to use headphones. I have written about this in my article: Tinnitus, A Personal View.

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Great replies everyone, thank you so much. I will not be purchasing the headband speakers after reading your comments. I think I'll continue with my phone playing relaxing sounds to distract my attention away from the Tinitus.


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