Hearing Aids and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by daisyjc, Jan 24, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Hello!

      I am new to this forum and just wanted to introduce myself, as well as ask some questions to others who have had Tinnitus for many years. December 27th was the day Tinnitus entered my life. Since then, I've been trying to make friends with this new high-pitched tone in my ear, but without much luck. The tinnitus seems to fluctuate quite a bit during the day. It's at its quietest after sitting still for some time and at its loudest after a day at work or out and about running errands. It also gets quite loud when I lay down (even for just a minute) and remains at a high volume for at least a half hour after getting up from a laying position. However, strangely enough, it's often barely noticeable after waking up (if I'm able to fall asleep) after laying down for more than an few hours. In the same way, laying on my jaw will increase the volume to an extrememly loud pitch... almost screaming! Do any of you find your tinnitus acting the same as mine? Could these be related to blood vessel or TMJ issues? I've visited several specialists and doctors and they all seem to be clueless as to the cause of my Tinnitus. All testing, including a CT Scan and hearing test all came back normal. Unfortunately, the lack of concern from my doctors and fretting over the noise/unkown cause landed me in the ER twice due to panic and anxiety attacks. Fortunately, in a moment of clarity, I looked up Tinnitus specialists in my area. I was able to find one about an hour away. She was absolutely wonderful to work with and fitted me with a hearing aid. Instantaneously, the tinnitus went away. Of course, it's still there when I turn off the aid, but I can't hear it when it's on. She adjusted the volume of background noise so that it nearly matches my good ear. Since I have zero hearing loss, the background noise only needs to be amplified over the tinnitus, which masks it completely. She included two zen sounds which I find enjoyable to listen to at times. Even though I found this amazing way to now manage my Tinnitus, I'm left worried that the hearing aid will somehow make my tinnitus worse in the future. Has anyone encountered this happening to them after wearing their aids for a few weeks, months or years? I'd really like to keep this wonderful tool for sleep, as well as when I can no longer handle the incessant ringing. However, I do not want to make things worse for a brief moment of silence. Thanks for reading!!
       
    2. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Hello, is anyone out there? Please... some advice would be helpful, especially for someone new to tinnitus. Thank you!
       
    3. Mike82
      Wishful

      Mike82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2014
      G'day daisyjc.

      I'm trialling hearing aids myself, although I have high-end hearing loss. I have a masker on mine as well.

      My experience, admittedly after only a couple of days, is that wearing hearing aids without switching the masker on has little to no effect on my tinnitus. That is to say I notice it just as much.

      I find the masker helps, but when I take the hearing aids out, the tinnitus is still screaming away. I'm not sure if I'll eventually shell out to buy a pair of hearing aids, but so far it's been an interesting - if not entirely successful - experiment.
       
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    4. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Mike-thank you! It's nice to know others are finding relief from hearing aids as well. I'm trialling mine at the moment too and am scared to make the investment if it will only cause more damage. Still, maybe I'm habituating extremely fast or the T has gone down, but the last two nights have been really kind to me with sleep. I've been able to sleep without the aids in for several hours at a time...HUGE improvement from the last several weeks :). Thanks again for your reply. I wish the best of luck for you with the aids.
       
    5. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Hi Daisy and welcome,

      There are a number of people who get relief from hearing aids, mainly when they are on. Good that they work for you.

      You mentioned the zen sounds; if it's these that give the most relief then I have a bank of sounds you can use for free, a lot cheaper to latch up a player and some headphones in that case. I can create these easily and send them to you.

      Steve
       
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    6. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Steve - That is awfully kind of you to create some zen files for me. Although I enjoy the zen sounds on my hearing aid, the amplified background noise actually brings the most relief :) I have another appointment later this week. Hopefully the doctor will be able to answer all of my questions. However, if I ever feel the need for more zen sounds, I will certainly contact you. Thanks again for your generosity!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Albert Savage

      Albert Savage Member

      Location:
      Nevada
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1972
      Daisyjc, hello and welcome. I've suffered from tinnitus since the spring of 1972. My hearing was also damaged in that same incident. Over the years my tinnitus was fairly stable (usually a mild hissing sound f0ur to six times a day) but would increase after exposure to loud noises. At the same time my general hearing was slowly decreasing. In 2004 I received my first pair of hearing aids and it significantly decreased both the severity and frequency of tinnitus for me. When I don't wear my HAs the tinnitus has not increased (for me.)

      As I'm writing this to you I am having a minor tinnitus flair. It is the first time I have noticed one in almost three weeks. Since the hearing aids are helping, enjoy the peace and quiet.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I'm happy to help where I can.

      Just re-reading your first post, do you have any hearing loss at all or are both ears good? And if you didn't show as having any hearing loss did they test you above 8KHz? And one last question, what frequencies did they set the hearing aids to amplify?

      Steve
       
    9. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Steve- I do not have a copy of my hearing test, but the audiologist said I did not have any hearing loss. I'm not sure if they tested above 8 kHz. Once I have the report, I will respond with more info :)
       
    10. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Steve H - So, I went to another audiologist today to trial the audibel tinnitus aids. He retested my hearing and confirmed that I have perfect hearing in both ears. He joked and said that I could hear a mouse run across carpet! I can hear 8 Khz clearly and yes, they tested above that :) All hearing is phenomenal. I'll get back to you about the frequency in the Widex hearing aid, as I have my follow up appointment tomorrow. Oddly, the audibel aids that I trialed today were not a good fit for me. I was with the audiologist for two hours trying to find the tone of my tinnitus. We were able to eventually find it, but I couldn't stand the grainy/static sound that accompanied the masker. To me, that was more annoying than my tinnitus! Apparantly, the grainy sound is just the mechanism working. Needless to say, the audiologist did not make a sale today. I found much better success with the Widex Dream hearing aid with the Zen function, as it amplifies background noise gently, without a harsh or grainy sound... which completely cancels out the ringing/tinnitus in my left ear. I hope this update helps you, or anyone else considering hearing aids for their tinnitus!
       
    11. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      Hi Daisy,

      I'm puzzled as to how the hearing aids help you if your hearing is perfect. Did the audiologist explain why this could be or give any insight ion how the hearing aids work for you? I wonder is there a noise to them when they are turned up that maybe masks your tinnitus?

      Steve
       
    12. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Steve H - I spoke with the audiologist today and she said the amplified background noise acts as a "white noise" that blocks out the tinnitus. She mentioned that many of her clients, without hearing loss, get relief just like myself from these specific hearing aids. Unfortunately, the tinnitus is now in my right ear as well... ugh! Here I was, thinking that I was one of the lucky ones with tinnitus in only one ear. Oh well, going back next week to pick up the other aid for my right ear. Thankfully God only made us with two ears! Geesh! I hate to think what tinnitus would be like if we had several ears!! :( *Trying to look on the bright side*
       
    13. xmierce

      xmierce Member

      Location:
      Buford, Georgia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Daisjc - if you just got T at the end of December your ears may recover normally without spending a ton of money on hearing aids. You have no hearing loss so within 3 months you may be totally fine.. I have had T for 1 1/2 years so I think mine is here to stay and i do not use white noise generators or hearing aids yet.. I more or less keep busy and ignore it.. It's loud but a part of my new normal. Enough about me though, give it some time and it might just go away on it's own.
       
    14. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      @daisyjc I'm still puzzled by your audiologist. I just feel like they are trying to sell you an expensive product that you really don't need.

      If the hearing aids are just acting as white noise then you don't need a hearing aid at all and you can use some really simple sound enrichment instead. I don't think that providing sound amplification to healthy ears is advisable, it creates an un-needed artificial environment, certainly not something I could tolerate over time without a reaction from my ears. A pair of white noise generators would be more appropriate (if you choose them and feel you need them) and they are most likely several hundred dollars, rather than the thousands for the hearing aids.

      If you follow this link you'll see free noises you can download and use - we've only just started this but the basic noise type are there, plus as I mentioned I have loads more.

      Xmierce is absolutely right, you're early into this so it can easily just fade away. The key in doing this is to be able to put it out of your mind, try and forget about it. When you need distraction use some noise in the background, don't use it if you are able to be absorbed in a task and not hear the tinnitus. Do things that keep you busy; if you stop and think "hey I haven't noticed my tinnitus" don't dwell on it, just turn your thoughts away, don't let your brain get used to the noise. Find a few things now that will help you out if you obsess with it, use them when you need to but otherwise just try and live as normally as possible - avoiding very loud noise is always advisable.

      I'm fairly convinced that if I had the right advice years ago mine wouldn't have developed. It was quiet, in one ear only. I used to put my fingers in my ears to listen if it was still there, check for it if it was naturally masked by background noise. I did everything wrong.

      Steve
       
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    15. Mo_Mo

      Mo_Mo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      25/11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, Started A Week After A Cold
      I am in the same situation as you
      My T started end of November and I have no hearing loss it started off in one ear, 2 weeks ago it also started in my other ear
      I am thinking of getting hearing aids, do you wear them all the time even when you sleep?
       
    16. RichL
      Inspired

      RichL Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Palmerston North NZ
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I'm hearing you on that one, if I had got advice full stop, I'm sure my dependence on ear plugs just would not of happened.
      Your not alone on doing the wrong thing!

      @daisyjc , I'm a bit perplexed that you have been fitted with hearing aids with no hearing loss, as @Steve H has said it will do more harm than good, maybe a second opinion may be in order!
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    17. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Steve - I truly appreciate all your adivce, but I just want to be sure I understand you clearly. Is your recommendation to ignore it, hoping that I will either fully habituate or that it will go away completely in time by doing so? I am able to ignore it throughout the day, but it's at night that I lie awake by the loud high-pitch hissing/ringing in both ears. Even a white noise generator (bought several at Bed Bath and Beyond) irritates the tinnitus and does nothing to make it better. It actually irritates and makes the high pitch hissing seem worse. The only relief I get at night is from the hearing aids, unfortunately. I need sleep. Without it, the tinnitus will surely get worse. I truly hope, as you say, that the audiologist is not just trying to make a sale. That would be quite terrible on her part :( However, I've spoken with 3 audiologist about the level of background amplification on my aids and they said that the level was so minimal that it would be impossible to cause damage to my hearing/ear in the future. Maybe you're thinking that the amplification is on high. It is not. On a scale of 1-10, the background amplification is at a 2 (barely).
       
    18. daisyjc
      Busy

      daisyjc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkown
      Mo_Mo,

      No, I do not wear the hearing aids during the day (unless the ringing gets so bad that I need relief). I am trying to habituate to the sounds. I see the aids simply as a tool to help me manage my tinnitus. I really don't want to rely on them in the future.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    19. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      That is kind of what I mean.

      Where you are able to ignore it, you don't hear it for whatever reason, then that is excellent. Don't even think about using any device or treatment in this case. Don't ever check for it either, don't let yourself wonder if it's there. If you check for it you will notice it.

      This can be in part down to the white noise not being right for you. The speaker will not be fantastic either, if you move your head around the room I bet you'll notice a large difference in the tone you hear.

      Sleep is obviously your important time so finding a way to cope with it and push the tinnitus far away enough so that you can relax is important. Have you tried other sounds for sleep, maybe nature, rain, that kind of thing?

      It's good to hear that the amplification is low. I would seriously advise against using them any other time than because you don't need them.

      You can probably save the money and use some simpler things to help you out. If you have a good hifi for the bedroom to play sounds that help you sleep maybe, or something you can plug into a music player (sleep phones or similar).

      The hearing aid is a huge cost compared to other things you can do. I don't wish to speak badly of your audiologist but they have gone straight for the most expensive solution here, one that gives them a nice profit. It seems a lot more ethical to work with you in suggesting other ways to get sleep. If other methods don't work for you and the hearing aid appears the best option they can then sell you it.
       
    20. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Daisyjc,

      My sister has T and perfect hearing also. She's not wearing hearing aids. She just gradually habituated to her T over the years.

      I wear one hearing aid / masker, only because of substantial hearing loss from 2K-8K in my right ear and pretty horrible T.

      I'd checkout another doctor and hold off on purchasing hearing aids, until you see how your T develops. It may settle down or disappear in a few months.

      If you feel more comfortable wearing hearing aids for now, you can usually get a 60 day trial period, before investing any dough.
       
    21. Anthony Hunt
      Tired

      Anthony Hunt Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      01.03.2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress and maybe age
      Hello Everyone, I'm new to this thread and have just finished reading through the posts as I hope to get my first pair of Hearing aids within the next couple of weeks. These are aids that will also produce a masking tone for my T.
      What is great is that I can try them for a couple of weeks and if there is no improvement then I can hand them back and then try another make all with no cost until I find ones that help and I decide to Keep them.

      My T started back in February, for no apparent reason, this year with a high pitched tone around 8KHz or higher and has been driving me crazy ever since.

      I have been to 2 ENT doctors, had several infusions and courses of tablets, all to no benefit. Now I have a perscription for Hearing aids and visited a local hearing aid Studio near to where I live in Germany.

      They gave me a very comprehensive Hearing test and it seems that my Hearing loss is Age related and is in the 6 - 8 Khz range with my right ear slightly worse than my left.
      I really am pinning all my hope that these devices are a solution or at least reduce the effect the T is having on my life.
       
    22. barbara r.
      Balanced

      barbara r. Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      prolonged loud noise
      I have had my Widex hearing aids for 2 weeks now. I have 3 zen music/maskers in them, full amplification, and softer amplification. I have 60 days for trial. I have mixed thoughts. They work amazingly to cover the tinnitus, as I can tell when I remove them at night. I do have some hearing loss, but also I am hypersensitive to noise. I wasnt initially in favor of amplifying the outer world. Suddenly, I could hear the a/c running, fridge, etc. Unpleasant at first, but within a week, I was ok with it. The benefit outweighed, and I adapted to the amplification. I see the Audiologist every 2 weeks for 2 months, and attend 2 classes on hearing/tinnitus. She tweaks and alters the zen programming each visit. We started at about 60% of full amplification, which seemed loud. I never knew I had hearing loss. I just thought the world was getting fuzzy and people were always mumbling.
      First tjme posting here. Nice to read of other experiences. Not thrilled with paying thousands, but it does work beautifully. I love nature sound machines. Have played the ocean and rain at work for several years, til the T got suddenly worse following the flu 6 months ago. Need the big guns now. Best wishes to fellow sufferers. Thanks for letting me share my story.....
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    23. Tamika
      No Mood

      Tamika Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      One loud indoor concert
      Hi Barbara
      Good to get your thoughts on the aids. Do you know what frequency they go up to? I'm getting a trial fitting today.

      I should also say Welcome! I see its your first post.
      Tamika
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    24. barbara r.
      Balanced

      barbara r. Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      prolonged loud noise
      Tomorrow I go for my first tune up. The cleaning and the tune ups are free for the first year, then there's a cost for any visits. I will have to ask questions tomorrow, about frequency, etc, as well as get a copy of my own hearing test.
      I will probably change the 'zen 3' music to something I like better. It's the only one combined with amplification. zen 1 & 2 are music/tones alone.
      Best wishes with your journey, Tamika.
       
    25. barbara r.
      Balanced

      barbara r. Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      prolonged loud noise
      I also bought a wire that can be used with my Widex hearing aids. It loops around the neck, and has a built in control. It is rechargeable. It plugs in to any headphone jack, like my MP3 player, smartphone, etc, and then, via air, not wires, it sends the music etc straight into my hearing aids. Haven't used it yet, but love the idea. Could tuck it under shirt, and be listening to music, etc, without those around me knowing. Now, how cool is that?!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. snow86
      Surrender

      snow86 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      2006 - Extreme T since 12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      see "information" on profile page. Crippled by extreme T
      good choice,

      I have my widex clear440 since 2010. (Now theyre named widex dream or something)

      the additional devices barbara means are
      uni-dex
      http://www.widex.com/-/media/WidexPRO/Images/Products/DEX/uni-dex_large.ashx

      and the rc-dex
      http://www.hoergeraete24.com/onlineshop/shops/m4qsh7/prodImg/Widex-RC-Dex,535.jpg

      both make the widex hearing aids an amazing product.
      the uni dex is also a headset, you can use it with your smart phone and listen to your call in stereo, it has a built in microphone. best way to phone with hearing aids.
      And as mentioned you can listen to music and other devices directly and dont have to "rehear" it first by your hearing aids from the outside. thats extremly good. You can also mute the environment and listen directly to music without the noise. This device is really worth its money .
      You can even couple it with your ps4 controller. Just damn good!Wish I had it before my monster T and H started. Its really a game changer for people with hearing aids

      the rc-dex is almost as important as the hearing aids themself.
      You can swap through the available hearing programme (like directional) and turn on masking sounds (zen = piano fractals or white noise, or both together)
      And the best function is the MUTE programm. If theres an ambulance incoming you can just change to Mute programm and your hearing aids basicaly turn into ear-plugs. Also good for cinema or if you're in a noisy environment. (Your acustician has to adjust the programms on his computer first). I never leave my house without the remote. Of course you can also adjust the HA volume...if someone has quiet voice, you can just amp up...Thats problematic without a remote.

      Make sure you have custom ear molds pieces when you have decided to get one. They also make the difference. I wear them almost 14 hours a day and dont notice them. Also they have influence on the ampification.

      Those HA are really expensive but they're worth their money. I also tested Oticon and Resound but the Widex were far better (for me)
       
      • Like Like x 2
    27. barbara r.
      Balanced

      barbara r. Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      prolonged loud noise
      Wonderful info. Thanks. I have more to ask my audiologist tomorrow. Despite the h.a. price, my experiences have been wonderful so far, with the clinic, ENT doc, and esp. the audiologist. For better quality of life, I think this will be the best path for me. Good to hear positive things from someone using Widex for 5 years. Thanks again.
       
    28. barbara r.
      Balanced

      barbara r. Member

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      prolonged loud noise
      Had a good first 2-week visit yesterday with my audiologist. She upped the Widex h.a. amplification to 75%. I had her change a zen program to one more pleasing. I got a copy of my hearing test, but don't know how to read it. So I'll ask her next visit.
      She said something that surprised me. Maybe it's old news to this forum. You guys seem super-knowledgeable. She said that some don't realize that over-using ear plugs can cause greater hypersensitivity to sound. For maybe 10 years, I used earplugs at night to sleep. Then I weaned off them, and have not used them for 5 years. I sleep well. I just never knew there was some negative effect to using the earplugs. I've had high hypersensitivity to sound past many years. I will continue to use earplugs in noisy environments.
      But I am pleased with Widex. It makes life better for me.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    29. Barry Gradski

      Barry Gradski Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2011
      My own path is pretty Zen. I did not get hearing aids yet because I have yet to experience trouble communicating. Give it a few years. I did develop tinnitus though. If fluctuates. Bothered THE HELL out of me for probably 18 months when I finally gave up. I stopped trying to mask it, stop trying not to hear it, stopped taking stupid and maybe dangerous supplements. Stopped hoping for a cure, stopped masking the noise. Total, zen acceptance.

      Score! It just stopped bothering me over time, I still hear it, sometimes it goes away completely, it fluctuates A LOT for me in volume etc which made it hard to not notice. But now, I just do not mind it and pay it no mind and my life has gone back to total normal. If you've had treatment and it "worked" after 18 months, you've been conned -- I think that is a typical adaptation time. I find total non-fighting it along with some meditation etc is ... well, a kind of "cure". Took a long while, but it can be done, you can get happy with the sound, w/o ever fighting it, w/o trying -- hardly noticing it. I sort of find it does tend to decline in volume (on average) when you do this ... over time, over time. Good luck.
       
    30. GregCA
      Crappy

      GregCA Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I've been wondering about that myself. With some treatments lasting 24 months (TRT?), it's really hard to know whether it's the treatment or the natural adaptation of the body that is at play.
       
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