The AudioNotch Tinnitus Treatment Blog

Tinnitus Habituation

Written by AudioNotch Team on September 08, 2016

Categories: Tinnitus

Please note: the following information does not constitute professional medical advice, and is provided for general informational purposes only. Please speak to your doctor if you have tinnitus.


Tinnitus is a problem where a person hears constant ringing, buzzing, humming or whistling in their ears that has nothing to do with outside noises. It can be incredibly distressing to those who suffer from it. While the condition isn’t life threatening, it is life altering. Sufferers can end up with depression, stress and constant agitation. Over 50 million people are afflicted with some form of tinnitus.

Becoming Habituated to Tinnitus

When you move into a new home close to a highway, you might be overwhelmed with the traffic sounds. After a few months though, you fail to notice the noise anymore. A friend might even visit and point out how loud the traffic is, and you’ll find that you’d tuned it out completely. You are habituated to other sensations and noises, so it’s possible to achieve tinnitus habituation too. It’s the same concept, but differs for every person who suffers.

When you hear your first humming, ringing or buzzing sounds, you’re hyper focused on them because you’re worried. Once you’re worried about the sounds, you might find that you can’t stop focusing on them, which can make them worse. After seeing a doctor to make sure there’s no underlying cause, you’ll have to find a way to achieve tinnitus habituation.

Relaxation for Habituation
Many people who suffer from tinnitus notice that it will get worse when they’re stressed. Worrying and being overwhelmed with tinnitus can actually make the symptoms worse. Relaxation techniques can bring some relief to those who suffer since it’ll lessen the symptoms.

Yoga and Massage
While yoga and massage might lean more towards relaxation techniques, they are great ways to take the focus off the sounds you’re experiencing. While relaxing, performing yoga or getting a massage, it’s best to avoid silence. Play some soft music in the background.

Sound Therapy
Choosing a sound that counteracts the tinnitus is often a part of sound therapy and tinnitus habituation. Some people like the sounds of the beach. Others like rainfall in a forest. You’ll have to experiment with sounds to find what best suits your needs.

Some people use a variety of sounds like the television during the day and soothing sounds at night, so they can sleep. The noise you pick to counteract the tinnitus should not be irritating or annoying, since that will defeat the purpose.

It can take weeks to months to become habituated to the sounds of tinnitus. That’s after weeks of trying to find the right sounds to soothe and mask the sounds generated in your ears. While it takes some, it’s definitely possible.