This article is from the Tinnitus FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Bixby) with numerous contributions by others.
Masking can also produce a phenomenon called, "residual inhibition". The
effect residual inhibition has is to cause the tinnitus sound to partially
or completely disappear for a few mins. to a few hours, weeks, months or
even for life. I was tested for residual inhibition by G. Gordon Gibson at
the, Tacoma Tinnitus Clinic", in Tacoma, Wa. in 1985. Mr. Gibson revelled
in his experiences with tinnitus patients referred to him by ENTs, that
some had complete remission for awhile and then would just need to listen
to the "white noise" for a short while to make the tinnitus go away again.
One person, he said, "Went into complete remission". I was also tested for
ri at the University of Washingtons' Tinnitus Clinic in 1986, but I was not
to be so fortunate as others at either place I tried.
The important thing is to have a "Tinnitus Clinic" test your ears for your
specific tinnitus sound, so the right "white noise" can be matched up to
it. You can get a Professionl Referrals list of your area from American
In a Sept. 1986 American Tinnitus Association Newsletter, "Colin Kemp", an
engineer working in Austrailia who markets a unit called, "The Tinnitus
Inhibitor" says, "At our Tinnitus Clinic, we call this phenomenon Residual
Inhibition and routinely test all patients for it. Residual inhibition
comes in many forms, But in one form or another we find it in nearly 89% of
The following is an excerpt from: "Oregon Tinnitus Data Archive 95-01"
Residual inhibition was tested in each ear separately if patient had
tinnitus that was bilateral or "in the head". Results shown here are for
each patient's best trial (maximum residual inhibition effect).
Residual Inhibition - Type
Type of RI N (%) ------------------------------------- No RI 173 (11.9) Partial RI only 476 (32.8) Complete RI only 34 (2.3) CRI + PRI* 768 (52.9) --- ---- Total 1451* (99.9)