Many people with tinnitus or decreased sound tolerance (hyperacusis) are told nothing can be done. Or they wait months for appointments without being given any coping strategies to use until they see a professional about treatment options. Tinnitus wellness apps are a self-help approach that can lower stress or distress and improve quality of life.
Some apps are more accessible than others for people with hearing loss or Deafness. If you have trouble hearing or understanding speech or audio content, look for apps that offer trained speakers with deep distinct speech, visual indicators, text-based, or open captioning (subtitles on). Apps include sound therapy and mind therapy tools like relaxation, mindfulness, and meditation. Some apps offer peer support that helps people feel less alone.
Sound therapy use specific sound types for relaxation and sleep. Tinnitus and hyperacusis sound therapy has used coloured noise since the 1990s. Pink noise (more bass or deeper than white noise) and brown noise (more bass or deeper than pink noise) are often more comfortable. No percussion relaxation music has no drums, cymbals, or other impact sounds. This music has steady constant volume so you can set volume and relax without having to zone back in to re-adjust the volume if it gets too loud.
Apps are often under Medical or Health categories in app stores. Depending on the app, people can use them on different devices like phones, tablets, or personal music players. App store descriptions list recommended age ranges. There are apps for children, teens, and adults. Many apps are translated into different languages; some are only available in certain countries.
Many apps are free. Some are free with extra features or upgrades to buy. Others get paid on a monthly, yearly or lifetime subscription. Watch out for apps that automatically renew subscriptions on the expiry date. When deciding on apps, check for good reviews, best-of lists, high user ratings, positive community feedback. I’ve listed a few highly rated examples here, but I don’t endorse or recommend any particular app.
People should pick apps where they like the techniques and/or soundscape options. It’s personal preference. Science shows the more people use mental wellness techniques or sound therapy, the better the results, e.g. daily use for at least 3 months.
Get medical clearance before trying apps. Don’t use apps outside their intended use or warnings, e.g. do not do techniques while driving. Stop if techniques make you feel strange or light-headed. Start at the lowest volume and gradually increase until the sound is softly comfortable. Check with your audiologist or tinnitus care provider for app recommendations or guidance.
Beltone Tinnitus Calmer iOS or Android
Oticon Tinnitus Sound iOS or Android
MindShift (for teens to adults)
Aura (3 minute meditations-open captioned)