Tinnitus masking theory expanded

Peter Lowrie peterlowrie at consultant.com
Mon Dec 8 04:38:44 EST 2003


Good afternoon netizens.

The purpose of this post is to inform you that <quote (audiologist)>...if 
you could do that, you'd be a millionaire...</quote> when I told her about 
my inventive exploit...Information to follow.

I am a patient of the Auckland Hospital Audiology clinic. Two years ago I 
encountered a life  changing event - I got hearing aids to help with a 
c.70% hearing loss brought about by noisy industrial environments (and 
probably too much loud rock music). Also I'm an inquisitive electronics 
techie.

The tinnitus was driving me nuts, so I got a circuit diagram for a tinnitus 
masker and constructed the unit from off-the-shelf components. The unit 
worked but not very well. When I took it off my perception of the tinnitus 
was that it was worse.

One day I hooked my sweep function generator to the sound card of my PC and 
oscilloscope. With headphones on I tuned the SFG into the tinnitus noise 
and recorded each tone on the PC. There were about 7 different regions of 
tinnitus. Then I combined the tones using soudcard recording software and 
looped them on playback, though the oscilloscpoe. My Philips 'scope has a 
phase adjustment and an inverter. I adjusted the phase until the sound was 
as loud as possible and then I hit the 'invert' button on the 
'scope...Guess what happened.

Complete silence!

Has anyone in audiology disciplines tried this?

Yours etc
Peter Lowrie




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