Tinnitus is the conscious sensation of a sound heard in one or both ears, in the absence of a sound physically produced by sources external or internal to the body. More frequent in the adult / elderly population, it is often associated with hearing damage resulting from various pathologies affecting the ear.
What frequently causes an increase or decrease in the perception of tinnitus is the level of environmental noise which determines or not a "masking effect": perceived at very low intensity in noisy places, for example in shopping centers, it can be particularly annoying in the evening or during the night such as to cause difficulties in falling asleep.
During the evening or night hours, ambient sounds and noises are less or are considerably reduced, making the tinnitus seem more intense than during the day. In addition to the lack of environmental sounds, the closing of the eyes, which takes place when going to bed, determines a lack of visual stimulation that reduces our attention only to the auditory canal, with consequent amplification of all those sensations that come from this organ.
The first rule is to rigorously avoid silence which would result in hyper-excitability of the acoustic pathways capable only of aggravating the situation by enhancing the perception of tinnitus.
The false sensation of increased perception of tinnitus in a silent environment has in fact resulted in the birth of "sound therapy" which consists in raising the ambient sound or enriching the sound world of the person complaining of tinnitus. The sound enrichment strategies for the normal-hearing patient use wearable or bedside devices that by delivering one or more types of sound interfere with the perception of the symptom.
For people with hearing impairments, the application of hearing aids results in an increase in hearing capacity with a reduction in the perception of tinnitus. The latest generation hearing aids have the ability to deliver particular sounds - for example sounds of nature, broadband sounds - with relaxing and distracting characteristics towards tinnitus.