The Color of Noise
Pink noise closely matches the spectrum of sound that we hear in our everyday world. That is why it is most important to increase our tolerance to these frequencies. White noise has equal energy to all frequencies. Since hyperacusis patients are more sensitive to high frequencies, white noise is not the sound of choice for therapy. It tends to slow our progress on re-establishing our tolerances because of the high frequency content in white noise.
There is plenty of scare put out there unnecessarily about sound therapy. That is unfortunate and prevents a lot of people from not only getting better, but more importantly, getting their life back. The goal here is to slowly, carefully, build our tolerances to sound. Like any rehab. this comes at a snails pace. Some people don’t have the patience for it. Because of that they never get the prize at the end of the road – living in the mainstream of life without earplugs!
With sound therapy, your ears are getting re-acquainted with sound. Are some people harmed by sound therapy (pink noise) in whatever delivery system they receive it in (CD or sound generators)? No, I don’t believe that. Even for people who say they can’t tolerate the sound of pink noise this can’t be true because they are still taking in the sound of human voices and everything else that goes with life. These sounds are far more noise than the sound of softly played analog filtered broadband (pink) noise. I would say there is only one instance where pink noise has little chance of success. Some individuals are so afraid of noise that they wear earplugs all the time. Their ears become so unbelievably sound sensitive that it is a very hard crawl to get out of that hole. This is rare – very rare. Even those people, if they can get past the fear, can come back.
Sound therapy takes time and patience. It is ear rehab and requires at least 2 hours a day. This is less convenient to accomplish with a CD because you are tied to a CD player. Sound generators are custom fitted to your ears and you can go about your normal routine. Between the two delivery systems of pink noise (CD player and sound generators) the cost is the main obstacle for people who desire the best. The cost difference is dramatic. CD player with pink noise CD is a $75-$100 investment. (A pink noise CD is available from the network for $25.00). If you would like a pink noise CD you would need to send your request and payment to: The Hyperacusis Network, 4417 Anapaula Lane, Green Bay, WI 54311. If your currency is not US dollars, please convert your currency to US dollars (cash) and send it with your request. The network is not setup to accept credit card payment. The network will send a pink noise CD to anywhere in the world. By contrast, the sound generators and doctor’s appointment costs can run $2000-$5000. Most people in the field feel that counseling is an integral part of successfully completing the retraining process. I agree with that assessment, providing the retraining therapist really delivers on the counseling and follow up with the patient. Some do not. Even though it is a ‘given’ that there are bumps in the road, many patients need continual reassurance that pink noise is not hurting them on days they feel it is. Some days we all need a cheerleader!
Sound therapy requires self motivation. It takes someone who will say to themselves, “I am not going to let this thing beat me. I am going to do everything I can to get my life back to normal.”