This is Tinnitus Awareness Week. Often a poorly understood, tinnitus is a condition of the auditory system that creates noises which don’t have any external cause. It is often described as “ringing in the ears”, but can also be experienced as a buzzing noise. Over six million people in the UK have some form of tinnitus and anyone of any age can get the condition, from children right through to older people.
You might be surprised to learn that computers and other technology can help with tinnitus - including apps and special headphones.
We’d always suggest that you first have a chat with your medical experts to get their advice, but studies have shown that white noise can help reduce the signs of tinnitus. There are several free and low cost “white noise apps” which can help mask the annoying ringing or buzzing sounds.
There are also apps that play music which can in certain circumstances reduce the levels of tinnitus that you experience. One such app is called Tinnitracs - please note that the app recommends that you get a diagnosis from your doctor before using it.
Everyone seems to have a pair (or two) of headphones nowadays and, if you have tinnitus, you might want to consider headphones which work slightly differently to standard ones. For example you could try bone-conducting headphones, which do what they say on the tin as the sound is transmitted to your brain via your bones, rather than your ears.
But a note of caution: one of the common dangers of listening to your music too loudly via headphones, is….you’ve guessed it, Tinnitus.
Check out the video about how you can support Tinnitus Week
More help from AbilityNet
AbilityNet provides a range of services to help disabled people and older people with technology and communications.
- Check out how our factsheet about computers and hearing impairments
- Call our free Helpline on 0800 269 545 and our friendly, knowledgeable staff will offer one-to-one help.
- If you are in work your employer has a responsibility to make Reasonable Adjustments which include helping you with invisible illnesses. Find out more about how we help disabled in the workplace.
- Arrange a home visit from one of our amazing AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.
- We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free.
- My Computer My Way is our free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tables and smartphones.