October 15, 2014 -- Erin Wright
Peter is one of my most “severe” tinnitus patients. I have known him now for about 6 years and he has been all over North America seeking help to manage his tinnitus. He went through the Tinnitus Retraining Therapy program at St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver and was one of the initial people to use white noise to help with his tinnitus. He has been to the Mayo clinic on several occasions seeking help to manage his tinnitus.
He came into my office days away from resorting to having surgery on his stapedial and tensor tympani muscles. He was going to have doctors laser cut them in an attempt to lessen the tinnitus.
A few months before I saw Peter, I was learning about the use of “red noise” to manage tinnitus. Red noise has more energy at lower frequencies, even more so than pink noise. It decreases in power by 6 dB per octave and has a softer quality compared to the traditional white noise that is often used for tinnitus sound support. The sound is a low roar resembling a waterfall or heavy rainfall and is considered “more pleasing” for many people who have tinnitus.
As Peter had tried white noise in the past and had found it beneficial, I wanted to make sure that I had that as an option for him. But I also wanted to try the red noise to see if we could decrease the tinnitus even further. I had to convince Peter to move from the white to the red noise as he was reluctant.
Today I saw Peter and the first thing he said was “I have great news; I hardly hear my tinnitus at all. I am barely aware of it when I am using these and I really feel like you have saved my life.” Peter is finally able to get off his sleeping medication because with the use of the red noise he no longer needs it. The quality of life difference for Peter is incredible.
We are using the Oticon Alta Pro 1 Receiver In The Ear hearing aids with the red noise program and no modulation. He has said to me that he would be happy to talk about his journey with tinnitus and assist anyone who needs to talk someone who has been in their shoes.
If you would like Peter to call you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.