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11.1) Residual Inhibition


This article is from the Tinnitus FAQ, by markb@cccd.edu (Mark Bixby) with numerous contributions by others.

11.1) Residual Inhibition

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
Tinnitus Association.

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)

* Omits patients who were not tested for RI, primarily because a minimum
masking level could not be obtained.

End of excerpt.

Some masking machine vendors:

Ambient Shapes, Inc.
P.O. Box 5069
Hickory, NC 28603
+1 800 438 2244
+1 704 324 5222

Product #1550, the Marsona Tinnitus Masker. An external masker with over
3000 settings. US$249.

The Sharper Image
650 Davis Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
+1 800 344 4444

Product #SI420, Portable Sound Soother, US$120, and product #SI430, Digital
Sound Soother XS, US$170 (same as previous product but includes an AM/FM
radio). Both products feature alarm clocks and three classes of sound:
White Noise, Seaside, and Countryside. You get primary sounds such as waves
and crickets, plus random auxilary sounds such as fog horns, buoy bells,
doves, owls, etc. Both the primary and auxilary sounds have independently
adjustable volume. [Ed. note: my mother is a satisfied PSS user.]

*****[insert masker models, prices, manufacturers, phone numbers here]*****


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