Hearing Aids

Discussion in 'Treatments' started by Louise, Oct 23, 2012.

    1. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      I am not a fan of static white noise sounds, but I recently tried a Widex hearing aid with Zen tones and found I preferred it. Some Widex models also go up to 12k for hearing support.

      I absolutely can relate to feeling unbalanced, too. My hearing loss is in one ear: it's perfect hearing and then a drop to 70db at 6k which remains for subsequent frequencies until it climbs back to 50db at 16k. My audiologist says that my 16k is actually good for being in my 30s.

      I definetly would recommend trying one out, but recognize that it might need quite a bit of tweaking. I used one for almost two weeks but could tell it wasn't picking up what I needed it to. With some additional tweaks, I'm sure it would have. My grandmother has had hearing aids for many years and she cautioned me that it can take several tweaks before they get it just right, and even then it can take a month or more to get used to using one.

      Good luck!
       
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    2. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drugs barotrauma
      Thank you for sharing that. Yeah I almost wish I could tweak them myself, rather than having to go see a audiologist everytime I need something changed. I'm wondering how well the really high frequencies models work, I know that if listen to really high pitched sounds I get this feeling of relief, almost like my ears stop straining and the muscles let go. The only problem is it has to be pretty loud, don't want to cause any additional damage.

      I'm not very clear on how they set these things, say you have 50db loss at a certain frequency, do they set the amplification to say a constant 55db at that particular frequency?
       
    3. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yes, the unbalanced feeling really sucks.

      That's why you have to try them because it's hard to predict how your hearing is going to react to them. My HA has that white noise feature that isn't really white noise: it goes by your audiogram and tries to "fill in the gap" with white-noise-like sound, but it's obviously not white noise since the band is limited to the frequencies that I don't hear. It may be some kind of pink + bandpass. I'm not sure, and the audiologists don't really know either.

      Yeah then go for it!

      Thanks. I'm hanging in there. I'm trying sound therapy right now (ACRN) but I'm inconsistent about the protocol so I'm not holding results to the fire. Thankfully it doesn't cost me an arm and a leg so I keep giving it a shot for a while. I may switch to windowed white noise after that... or something else I find in clinical studies.

      You're very welcome. Good luck man!

      My audiologist has some of them loaned out to her patients so they can try it out. As soon as it comes back in she will call me so I can give them a try too. I hope they can do better than my current ones.

      With some hearing aids you can actually do the tuning yourself. See here.

      But even with more traditional brands, if you're ready to pony up the $$ to get the software, I don't see why you couldn't tweak your HA yourself, but that channel is very protected as there is a lot of $$ made by forcing people to go to "pros". Here's some info.

      It depends on the hearing aid, and many companies provide a "black box software" to audiologists that doesn't even explain how the hearing aid works: it just asks the audiologist to put in the values from the audiogram, as well as some other tweakables, and voilà - magic happens. The audiologist can't tell you exactly how it works because it's not disclosed by the HA company (it's a secret sauce!). There are some standardized tables (like NAL) that give a rough baseline, but companies like to differentiate from the baseline.
      In general though, there is an amplification factor for a specific band based on your loss in that band (they get that from the audiogram), but there is also a sound compressor applied so it won't go above a certain level.

      For example, if you hear a whisper it may amplify it by a good amount, but if you hear a loud noise in that band of frequencies, it's not going to add any amplification at all.
       
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    4. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Drugs barotrauma
      Wow, crazy, I had no idea that they just punched test values and the aid was programmed. That makes me a bit uncomfortable not knowing what is being amplified, how loud and at what frequency the HA is working but I guess it is what it is.

      Another concern would be finding a clinic that actually tests to 12khz. I had my hearing tested through government health care, they did do testing to 16khz but do not sell hearing aids. The two other private places I went to only tested to 8khz, but could sell any type of hearing aid. I'm not sure how these clinics program a hearing aid with a bandwidth that reaches 12khz when they only test you up to 8khz. This is a huge concern for me, I guess the settings would be set to some kind of default and not really based on personal needs, no idea.

      Everything I read about these extended range aids is that they are not worth it because they do not assist with speech. I mean, everyone has different needs, all seems a little strange to me.
       
    5. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yes it's a bit of handwaving with "trust me" statements, but during the fitting they actually put a probe in your ear canal along with your hearing aid, so they can measure that it is actually amplifying the external sound as expected (i.e. to somewhat match the losses shown on your audiogram), so there is a step where they verify that it's doing what it's supposed to do.

      It doesn't make sense indeed that they'd program a hearing aid that goes above 8 kHz with data that only goes up to 8 kHz. Perhaps they extrapolate the missing data point from the existing data points.

      My audiologist also didn't seem convinced that getting a fancy "high bandwidth" hearing aid would make much of a difference to me, in spite of having losses in the high frequencies, but she agreed to get me a loaner so I could try it anyways. I'll give it a shot. As you say, it's a bit strange indeed.
       
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    6. Fabrikat

      Fabrikat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1973
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis then volume then viral infection
      Keep us posted @GregCA. I was under the impression that replacing loss frequencies, lowers the tinnitus volume in those frequencies. There has been a bit of evidence published that this is true.
      I'm also aware that some hearing aids, whilst not extending up to higher frequencies, may possess 'frequency lowering' technology within them, which also acts to reduce tinnitus perception. But I always wonder how high they can really go. Can tinnitus pitch be so high, that no technology will fill that gap?
       
    7. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I think you are referring to hearing aids with Linear Octave Frequency Transposition. They help you by lowering the highs by an octave (as the name implies) so that the band that you can't hear gets shifted down by an octave into a band that you hopefully can hear. That helps your brain catch the sound information that it would have missed, at the cost of having external sounds sound different.

      I did find some studies about it indeed showing results that are promising, but somehow it doesn't seem easy to find hearing aids with that technology. It's often marketed with different names and audiologists aren't always aware of it.
       
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    8. Fabrikat

      Fabrikat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1973
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis then volume then viral infection
      I think LOFT is what it's referred to by the Widex company, because I believe they may have first invented it. But other companies simply refer to it as frequency lowering. I think a few of the big hearing aid companies use it in their devices.
       
    9. Fabrikat

      Fabrikat Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1973
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis then volume then viral infection
      Hi @Telis! You don't have to crank the aids up to 0 db. When I first had an aid fitted, the audiologist turned the volume up by just five or so decibels, even though I had losses down to 50 db. Even that low volume, made a stark difference in sound recognition.
       
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    10. Akk

      Akk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkonown
      I have been wearing my new hearing aid about month now. It`s for my left ear, which has hearing loss at higher frequencies (> 4 kHz). I’m still in the adapting / learning phase, but it gets better all time.

      Speaking about my left ear tinnitus, it has reduced quite a lot, if it was before scale 4-5, now it feels like 1-2. Fortunately I got a little better model than a basic hearing aid, because of my music listening hobby. It has special ”Music”-program, which allows hear spatial sounds etc., not only speech.

      It has also program for masking tinnitus, but I haven’t used that (no need to use). So very pleased right now :)
       
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    11. Onsdag

      Onsdag Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, maybe stress
      What is the exact model of the hearing aid?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    12. Akk

      Akk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkonown
      It’s Oticon Nera2 Pro Ti
       
    13. Silent Lucidity
      No Mood

      Silent Lucidity Member

      Location:
      Ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      A lot of great info. I have looked briefly into hearing aids.

      They told me it would have to be a digital one. So they could do as someone described above. Hook it to a computer and only adjust the tones/sounds/frequencies that we can not hear. So that it does not amplify every sound that enters the hearing aid. My ENT stated that most times this does correct the problem, for the most part. And only while wearing the hearing aid.

      They explained it just as Karl. That the tinnitus is caused by loss of hearing and our ears and our brains are trying to make up for the loss of sound.

      I will find out December 5th if I am eligible for a hearing aid. If I am, I will move forward as quick as possible. I need some relief and it appears there are a lot of others wondering the same question concerning hearing aids and tinnitus. I will be sure to ask as many questions as possible. I will look up brands, prices, effectiveness and reviews the best I can.

      Thank you all for your time, and I wish you all peace and quiet.
       
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    14. Akk

      Akk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkonown
      ^ I got this free via public healt care. My HA would cost about 1200 € if self payed. That’s not big sum, concering that you hear better and get relief from T.
       
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    15. PBart49

      PBart49 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noises?
      I tried high end (very expensive) Starkey hearing aides hoping they would help with my tinnitus. Unfortunately, they have not helped at all with it, and they are only marginally helpful with general hearing improvement in some situations. I acknowledge that I didn’t wear them consistently and was told that it can take the brain 6 months to a year to learn to ignore the tinnitus. The hearing aides are programmed to emit a sound frequency that matches my tinnitus frequency . I can discern both sounds when I try. Supposedly, since my brain is now hearing a frequency from the hearing aides, that was missing due to damaged cilia (?), the brain will no longer manufacture this frequency itself, thus eliminating the T, or so the theory goes.
       
    16. Berik
      Rebellious

      Berik Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have the Rexton Mosaic M60 6c, for tinnitus masking. Very convenient device, a lot of relief, long battery life. Would recommend the use of hearing aid for masking, when tinnitus is bothering you a lot.
       
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    17. IvanRus

      IvanRus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity
      Indeed, it is horrible that manufacturers of hearing aids think only about momentary profits. Not only that, they are probably lobbying their interests to prevent the financing of regenerative development of the inner ear, being afraid of losing their profits, so they do not take into account the flexible needs of the potential consumer.

      They produce only the template lines of devices with amplification only up to 8 kHz ("socially significant" frequencies).

      But we know from the mechanisms of tinnitus that if we increase (with the aid of a hearing aid) the frequency of hearing loss, then we can achieve a significant weakening of the symptoms of tinnitus.

      But the fact is that many dips in the audiogram take place above 8 kHz (for example 12 or 14 kHz). And they can not be strengthened with the help of the devices offered today. It is necessary to immediately begin the production of broad-band devices at least up to 14 kHz. Then they can help many people with tinnitus.

      I wrote letters to several companies (Phonak, Widex, etc.) with a request to pay attention to this problem. Write and you! We can not stay away! Very little is being done.
       
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    18. TheDanishGirl
      Sad

      TheDanishGirl Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2017 (H since 06/2017)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term noise exposure (headphones), maybe some stress.
      YES! My thought exactly

      Also because I would think it is more likely to be possible to make hearing aids more advanced then regenerate hearing. Always easier making an already existing thing better than coming up with something completely new.
       
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    19. Akk

      Akk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2006
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unkonown
      Yes, as a ”serious” music listener and hifi-gearist, I have wondered why my HA (Oticon Nera2 pro) goes up only 7,5 kHz, when it could go 12 kHz or higher. I don’t think that’s technical problem, but commercial...there is no need ?
      But I were willingly pay more if I get higher bandwidth HA.
       
    20. IvanRus

      IvanRus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ototoxicity
      Who has a personal experience of acquiring and using a digital device, after some period of tinnitus?

      How can you assess the overall effect of the auditory instrument on tinnitus ?!

      Sounds in your hearing aid are clean and natural, without distortion ?!
       
    21. Ambassador
      Cool

      Ambassador Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High frequency hearing loss and lifetime noise exposure
      I've had tinnitus for 4 years and wearing Phonak hearing aids for 3 years. They help, sometimes more than others. I use two built in white noise programs and can stream audio from my phone via bluetooth and use Zen tones that are really helpful. I have high frequency hearing loss. There are digital hearing aids that are programmed to seamlessly adjust according to input, noisy restaurant, quiet conversation, riding in a car, etc.. The sound quality is clean and natural and I have never had any distortion. Results may vary based on the skill of the audiologist programming them.
       
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    22. Tinniger

      Tinniger Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      increasingly uncertain, maybe noise, maybe somatic ?
      Which phonak model allows streaming audio from phone via bluetooth?
       
    23. Ambassador
      Cool

      Ambassador Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      June 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      High frequency hearing loss and lifetime noise exposure
      I wear Phonak Audeo V90 312T. You need to wear the optional Phonak ComPilotII around your neck, it's a small device that pairs the iPhone to hearing aids via bluetooth.

      I wear it under my shirt and nobody knows I'm wearing it or listening to sounds, or music or whatever. You can even answer and have phone conversations with it.

      I understand Widex makes a hearing aid now that allows direct streaming from phone to hearing aid without a pairing device.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 2
    24. Mathew Gould

      Mathew Gould Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      6/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neck/Jaw misalignment
      My tinnitus is almost quiet if I'm sitting in silence, my tinnitus goes up with sound. Stuff like the tv, furnace, etc make my tinnitus go up... Would a hearing aid help my tinnitus in this situation??
       
    25. MartinH
      Angry

      MartinH Member

      Location:
      Guam, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows?
      As I understand it, and I'm a total newbie here, hearing aids are beneficial for those with tinnitus resulting from hearing loss. I just got mine ordered yesterday, on my 3 week Tinnitus Anniversary. The audiologist said I'd probably not notice tinnitus with hearing aids but of course it's always a wait and see thing.
       
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    26. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008 but cured and relapsed from benzos
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl/benzos/unknown
      Hearing aids can also increase tinnitus.
       
    27. dingaling
      Relaxed

      dingaling Member

      Location:
      London UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown, probably loud music
      That is a very generalised and inaccurate statement. What evidence do you have to support this?
       
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    28. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008 but cured and relapsed from benzos
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl/benzos/unknown
      Member Viking got super loud tinnitus from hearing aids.
       
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    29. Tinker Bell

      Tinker Bell Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SSHL from virus
      Please provide links to supporting evidence.
       
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    30. 1MW
      No Mood

      1MW Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008 but cured and relapsed from benzos
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ssnhl/benzos/unknown

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