Audio Analgesia

What is audio analgesia?

Audio analgesia is a method of pain relief that makes use of only white noise combined with stereophonic music to dull the pain sensation, without the use of any medication. In Springfield, Massachusetts, Dr. David Peck is offering the use of audio analgesia for pain management. It is a relatively new type of procedure that functions by distracting the patient from the procedure at hand and causes sensory confusion. This strategy is similar to breathing exercises that are performed by pregnant women in labor to draw their attention away from the upcoming delivery.

How does audio analgesia work?

Audio analgesia appears to be utilizing several psycho-physiological factors to stimulate sedation during dental procedures. It has been noted that the use of music promoted relaxation while the white noise suppressed the pain signals. It is also believed that the white noise helps to drown out the sound of the drill, which effectively eliminates a major source of anxiety for the patient. There has also been evidence on the impact of musical components such as rhythm and harmony in the management of pain.

What should I expect from audio analgesia?

During the administration of audio analgesia, patients are asked to wear earphones and they are given free reign on the control of their own acoustic stimulation.  Patients can control which music they want to listen to and this will be coupled with white noise. As the dental procedure gets under way, patients can choose to turn up the volume of the music to increase relaxation or increase the intensity of the white noise to improve pain suppression.

What are the risks of using audio analgesia?

Exposing patients to too much of the acoustic stimulation at higher frequencies may pose a potential to damage their hearing. At the maximum output and intensity levels, audio analgesia may be safely administered for five minutes straight during a one- hour treatment period, and 10 minutes for a two-hour treatment period. Exposing patients to more than this could already pose risks to their hearing as well.

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