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Tinnitus Maskers

Yong-bing Shi, PhD, MD

December 2, 2002

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Question

I have tinnitus, and wonder, regarding the ear mounted or table top maskers that you or others sell, whether any or all have:

a) volume controls

b) frequency or other sound pitch controls?

I would like to try to match the ringing in my ears to the best masking sound, then turn down the volume so that I can just barely still hear the tinnitus ringing.

Also understand that my tinnitus pitch is most likely around 10,000 hz, and wonder which maskers can match this frequency?

Answer

The answers to your questions are:

a) All ear level and desk top sound devices have volume controls.

b) Not all ear level and desk top sound devices have frequency controls. Some ear level devices have filters buit in them that allow certain levels of frequency selection. Examples of such devices are SilentStar (Starkey) and Sereniti (Siemens). Most desk top sound devices do have multiple types of sounds for selection, but custom adjusting and fine tuning of the sound output is usually not available. One exception is the Q321 Tinnitus Masker (MicroTek). This is a desk top unit that allows the user to select six octave center frequencies (from 500 to 16,000 Hz) with four bandwidth settings (broad, 1, ½ and 1/3 octave bandpass). There are also commercially available CD tracks that present various sounds including bandpass noises of different center frequencies and bandwidth. These CD sounds can be combined with stereo, headphones and sound pillows for different listening needs.

Hope the above have answered your audience's questions. Please let me know if I can be of further help.

Yong-bing Shi, M.D., Ph.D.
Assisstant Professor of Otolaryngology
Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, NRC04
Portland, OR 97201

Telephone: (503) 494 2949
Fax: (503) 494 5656
Email: shib@ohsu.edu


Yong-bing Shi, PhD, MD


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