Music and Tinnitus

February 3, 2021
doctor with sound wave behind him, shrugging, tinnitus

I’ve suffered from tinnitus for a very long time. It’s incredibly debilitating and makes many tasks hard to do.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn’t a sign of something serious. There are some treatments that reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.

Imagine you are sitting in a quiet office writing a report. Off in the distance, a car alarm goes off. You notice it, but car alarms go off all the time so you don’t pay much attention to it. If the alarm continues, however, the sound may distract you from your work. Constant tinnitus is like an “endless car alarm”. The sound is not welcome. It cannot be turned off.

For a long time I’ve used music, especially with a decent pair of over-ear headphones, to provide some relief. Which works great, until I turn off the music at least.


Of course, I’m not talking about the great Public Enemy song Bring the Noise released back in 1987.

What I’m referring to is using noise to mask the high-pitched screaming that I hear all of the time.

Along with using music, I also use a box fan at night in my bedroom. I turn it on low to create some nice white noise. It’s not 100% but anything is something.

You can find tinnitus sound therapy videos on YouTube, some of which are quite nice I must say.

Depending on how severe it is, the music that I listen to will vary…along with my mood of course. Most of the time I prefer a deep bass line no matter the genre I am listening to.

Recently I’ve been removing songs on my Spotify list that are too high-pitched for me to listen to anymore. Which sucks, but some of that 80s hair metal has got to go. 🙂