Hearing Aids with Programming Up to 12 kHz

Discussion in 'Support' started by JasonP, Feb 12, 2016.

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    1. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      I went to several audiologists about two and half years ago and they did audiograms which only went up to 8 khz. The range of human hearing I believe can go up to 20 khz. This left a large difference in what can't be corrected. Some people, I believe, have tinnitus higher than 8 khz that might be helped in ambient noise environments with correction higher than 8 khz. All the audiologists back then told me that they could only program hearing aids up to 8 khz. However, yesterday, I went to an audiologist and he said he was going to install some new testing equipment that will be able to test people's hearing up to 14 khz and he told me that there is a hearing aid he could program up to 12 khz which is the Siemens Binax 7. I do not know if there are any other hearing aids that do this but it may be worth calling around and if so, asking if the audiologist has the capability to test higher than the normal 8 khz audiogram. He also thinks next month, some hearing aid manufacturers will also release some new hearing aids which will have some enhanced features that current aids do not have. I am no scientist so I do not know if this would help or not but I would figure out I could pass this along. Let me guys know if you think this might be worth trying.
       
    2. brody24

      brody24 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2002
      My audiologist said that most of the high-end claims are mostly marketing gimmick. He said, in reality, hearing aids aren't really amplifying beyond about 5.5-6 khz. Even if your T was actually above 8 khz, and even if your hearing aid actually had the ability to amplify sounds in that range, it wouldn't make much of a difference at all. The reason is that very few sounds out in the real world are that high pitched. Sure, if you walk into a field with grasshoppers or cicadas, thats one thing. But 99.9% of the time, there are no sounds around you that high, so the high range of that hearing aid wouldn't even be put to use.

      My T is right around 7 khz. The audiologist said this was likely beyond the ability of a hearing aid to mask. He set me up with one of the highest end hearing aids on the market (insurance covered it because its not from natural hearing loss). Doesn't really mask the T sound at all (though it takes the edge off a bit having other noises to focus on, along with a white noise feature that I rarely use). I just don't want you thinking that there is some hearing aid out there that is going to mask or nullify T way up in the frequency range.
       
    3. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Thanks for responding. Can I ask what hearing aid you were fitted with? I actually found out my audiologist's new equipment could not test past 8 khz but he told me a couple of places in my city that could have extended frequency hearing testing such as 14khz and amazingly 18khz although they said that wasn't used for hearing aids when tested upthat high. I also called around and found another that could test up to 12.5 khz. I spoke with several audiologists and they told me that I should wait until April if I am looking at getting a new hearing aid. He said they were releasing some new technology that would help and that hearing aid companies are really combating tinnitus more and more. I don't know if that is marketing but it's cool that he was really positive.
       
    4. Mike L

      Mike L Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/15/16
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not Sure
      Did your T improve once you all were fitted with hearing aids? @JasonP @brody24
       
    5. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Yes, it almost disappeared in my right ear but only took away part of it in my left ear. My left ear has ringing that is not totally masked by conventional hearing aids. I'm not sure if extended bandwidth would help but I think it is worth trying. Right now I am wearing ones that are programmed for up to 8 khz and according to the audiologist the white noise only goes up to 8 khz but I don't know for sure. I would encourage everyone that has tinnitus to go to a hearing aid place to get a free hearing test and audiogram printout even if it just a regular one (up to 8 khz). If you have hearing loss, I definitely think they would help. I talked to an audiologist (after calling around) today and he said he would do an extended frequency test (basically 8 khz to 12 khz) for $30. (His audiometer only goes up to 12.5 khz and the hearing aids my audiologist sells only go up to 12 khz right now) I am curious to know my hearing loss beyond 8 khz.
       
    6. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      One other thing Mike. If you get hearing aids, call around and ask if the audiologist is familiar with programming hearing aids for tinnitus. There is different things you can do like disabling noise reduction features and if I remember right I think they suggested amplifying the aids a little more at the frequencies in which tinnitus is located. Be sure to check with the audiologist to see if this is recommended though. Get ones with multiple programs so you can try different settings. They also have some that have wireless bluetooth where you can stream music or sound through them while at the same time amplifying the surrounding noise (in case you wanted to mask tinnitus with different sounds that what's included in your aids)
       
    7. brody24

      brody24 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2002
      I was fitted with the Widex Dream 220, one of the true top-of-the-line hearing aids. It has as high a range as you will find in a hearing aid. But again, its just very hard to amplify beyond about 5.5 or 6 khz. And not to mention the fact that, even if it could amplify higher, there are very few sounds in your environment at that pitch, so theres usually nothing to amplify in that range. The Widex aids do have tinnitus white noise features that allows you to put on white noise that still allows in outside sound (so you can hear over it). It also has the Widex Zen program, which plays random soothing chime noises, which can take the edge off a bit and give you something else to focus on.

      My audiologist was also confident that hearing aid technology would continue to advance, and that as soon as there is an aid that would be more helpful, we can switch for a new one (my aid is covered by insurance so it would be no issue to upgrade).

      As for testing in a super high range, not sure what benefit you would get from that. No hearing aid gets anywhere close to the ranges you are mentioning and there most certainly aren't sounds in the natural environment in that range.
       
    8. JasonP

      JasonP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2006
      Thanks for your response! I am just curious, what kind of hearing aid technology did your audiologist think would be more helpful? I am thinking about trying new hearing aids too but want to make a good decision on wether or not they will help at all.
       
    9. brody24

      brody24 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2002
      Not really sure. I think he was just talking generally about whether, in the future, the aids can somehow better assist with tinnitus relief. Not precisely sure how.

      To be clear, my aid makes the tinnitus slightly less bothersome since I can hear so many other sounds. But since it is louder and higher pitched than everyday sounds, its obviously still there. But that isn't to say that the aid doesn't help. So don't assume that an aid can't possibly help even if your T is above its range.
       

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