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Reardonmetal

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 #1 
Dr. Nagler,

I've had tinnitus for around 12 years now. Was very mild up until 6 months ago. For whatever reason, in April, my tinn spiked badly and has never gone back to the prior level. Through some help from Dr. Hubbard here in NYC, I'm doing genreally well with few complaints. However, I still mask at night when I sleep (I put a runner's ear bud in my right ear and play some rain sounds) and I fall asleep like a baby. This is the only masking that I do. Otherwise, I'm able to pay little attention to my tinnitus, and it causes me almost no reaction when I hear it. Is it generally ok for me to keep masking like this, or should I try and cut the strings and sleep without masking or attempt a lesser amount of masking, like just playing the rain sounds, but not into an ear bud? Thanks, Eric
Dr. Nagler

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 #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric
I've had tinnitus for around 12 years now. Was very mild up until 6 months ago. For whatever reason, in April, my tinn spiked badly and has never gone back to the prior level. Through some help from Dr. Hubbard here in NYC, I'm doing genreally well with few complaints. However, I still mask at night when I sleep (I put a runner's ear bud in my right ear and play some rain sounds) and I fall asleep like a baby. This is the only masking that I do. Otherwise, I'm able to pay little attention to my tinnitus, and it causes me almost no reaction when I hear it. Is it generally ok for me to keep masking like this, or should I try and cut the strings and sleep without masking or attempt a lesser amount of masking, like just playing the rain sounds, but not into an ear bud?

Thanks to masking you fall asleep like a baby, and you'd like my opinion. Well my opinion is: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. There are a few reasons to consider not masking, but success is absolutely not one of them. I wouldn't change a thing!

Best regards -

Dr. Stephen Nagler
Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
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No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
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Reardonmetal

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 #3 
Dr. Nagler,

Thanks for the response. I suppose my concern is ending up using the ear bud as a crutch much longer than is necessary. I've only been doing it a few months (tried an external white noise maker very early on which didn't work very well for me). Frankly, I'd do it the rest of my life and not really care, so long as I keep getting the night's sleep I've been getting the last 3 months. Not one bad one in 3 months, which is a whole lot different than the 3 months prior to that. But if you think that it's not a problem to keep masking at night, then I'm happy to keep doing so.

Thanks for everything,

Eric
Dr. Nagler

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 #4 
Eric, I see no reason to discontinue using a strategy like masking that is working well for you. In the 1820s, a French physician, Jean‑Marie Gaspard Itard, described the relief his patients with high‑pitched tinnitus experienced upon following his suggestion that they sit near a hissing fire made from green wood, and the relief his patients with low-pitched tinnitus experienced next to a roaring fire made from old dead wood. He recommended, for instance, coach rides on bumpy roads, and he even reported a patient who achieved a high degree of relief after she moved into a room in a grist mill near the water wheel. Tinnitus sufferers have used various forms of masking successfully for a very long time.

What exactly is your concern? Perhaps I am missing something?

Dr. Stephen Nagler

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
Reardonmetal

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 #5 

Dr. Nagler,

I think my concern is that I'm not doing what I should be doing to fully habituate to the tinnitus. My goal would to (at some point) be someone who doesn't need to mask at all, and gives as little attention as possible to his tinnitus.  I feel like masking at night sort of falls under the category of 'giving my T too much attention', or more than it deserves.  Now, for the time being, I'm not sure if I would sleep great without the masking, but I'd like to think at some point I could cut the strings and sleep like I used to.  Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill here.  I'd just like to slowly ween myself off of all masking at some point.  So in the end, I guess I don't have any real concerns.  Just want to make sure I'm not doing anything that would potentially slow my recovery.

Eric 

Dr. Nagler

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 #6 
It's hard to know for sure, Eric, but perhaps you are overthinking things a little bit.

Typically when people mask only at night to help with sleep, eventually they discover at some point along the line that the masking has become more of a hassle than the tinnitus – so they just stop. Interestingly, you yourself said, "Frankly, I'd do it [mask to sleep at night] the rest of my life and not really care," so either way it seems to me that you will get along just fine.

I realize that "NO MASKING" is TRT dogma, but I think that in this case you may be confusing apples and oranges. Of course in tinnitus the only predictable thing is its unpredictability - but if I were in your shoes, I really don't think I'd change a thing.

Hope this helps more than frustrates.

Dr. Stephen Nagler
Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC

__________________

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
-
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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