Hearing Aids

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

    1. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, viral?
      I think I might be interested in looking at hearing aid especially with some kind of sound therapy. My hearing loss is 20 until 6000 where it dips to 40 then back up to 20 again. I don't really have problems hearing people, though I am sure that I miss something somewhere more than someone with perfect hearing does.

      My real issue is Tinnitus. I'm 7.5 months in and though emotionally well balanced, not anxiety ridden or depressed, the 24/7 ~65Db high pitch sounds do take their toll. On good days I still hear it but easily imagine habituating to it. On bad days, blah, just a slog. My biggest thing is that I have really cut back socializing because if I am just hanging in there, hanging out isn't much fun.

      So my question, selfishly asked so I don't have to click through 25 pages of responses, is what is out there? Would hearing aids potentially help me? What are the basic options brand-wise and therapeutic methodology wise? I'm not terribly cost sensitive so I am not necessarily looking for the best way to save a buck but the best way to treat my tinnitus. I am living overseas so it would help if I had some idea of what I was looking for/at before I started looking.
       
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    2. UrbanBubblegum
      Bugridden

      UrbanBubblegum Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HP-bacteria treatments
      I have Resound RE961-DRWC

      Link
       
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    3. Quiet please
      Balanced

      Quiet please Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Westchester County, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Only a guess, but probably hearing loss.
      @AfroSnowman These are mine & they work very well for my specific type of hearing loss with tinnitus.

      I have one-sided hearing loss with tinnitus, sound fluctuations, static & fullness.
       

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    4. Quiet please
      Balanced

      Quiet please Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Westchester County, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Only a guess, but probably hearing loss.
      Update: 12-01-19 The hearing aids are really making a world of difference for the better. It definitely feels like my tinnitus has reset to a lower and quieter range & some sort of neuroplasticity has occurred. The old (horrible) tinnitus patterns have changed and I can concentrate much better, hear slightly better and the general imbalance and cloudy feelings have lifted. The static and ear fullness are still gone. So happy for these changes!
       
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    5. Shem

      Shem Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Single Sided Sudden Hearing Loss
      Hearing aids were a huge help for me. Got hit with severe sudden single sided hearing loss (unknown cause, happened overnight), and as a result had pretty bad tinnitus from the effected ear. After about a year, I tried a hearing aid, figuring that increasing the hearing signal might improve the tinnitus. It for sure makes a difference with my tinnitus. Not sure if it's because of improved signal, or just amplification of ambient noise that provides some masking (I suspect the latter), but either way, really helped with the tinnitus. Brand I use is Widex Beyond with a custom ear mold (recommended, much more comfortable).
       
    6. Chriscom

      Chriscom Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Virginia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely infection/ear stress after walking pneumonia
      Several (all?) top-line hearing aids have tinnitus therapy programs. Two that come to mind are the Widex Evoke Fusion and Phonak Audeo Marvel. I've not used either myself, but they have programs that play things like gentle alternating tones, music, I think white noise etc. (And checking, I see Widex says all their newer hearing aids have their Zen therapy as an option).

      Sometimes even without such programs, just getting decent hearing aids helps as you can see in this thread. It's thought that it's because the brain starts getting signals again from the outside world, reducing whatever neurological somersaults it's been generating after that loss. If funding isn't a constraint I highly recommend giving it a shot.
       
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    7. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, viral?
      @Chriscom, @Shem, @Quiet please

      Thanks for the input. I have a follow up question about whether it might be a good fit for me.

      My Tinnitus though undoubtedly related to my hearing loss came on suddenly and likely due to a viral event. Though I believe that my hearing has been non-problematic but less than perfect for some time my Tinnitus came on instantly sometime between April 15th when I went to sleep at 11pm and when I woke up at 2am on April 16th and has never ceased since. 95% of the time at a moderate to severe level.

      My question is if my hearing loss wasn't the direct cause of the Tinnitus, that I had had the same hearing profile for years and never experienced Tinnitus at all, but something weird blew up my neural systems one night, do you know whether I would still expect relief from use of hearing aids?

      As a follow-up how important is the quality of the audiologist in fitting one of these? I am in Indonesia and the quality of care here is pretty meh. You can get everything here at a great cost savings, but I've been underwhelmed at times by the quality of the medical system. My alternative is to fly to Singapore that has first rate medical care. Thoughts?
       
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    8. Quiet please
      Balanced

      Quiet please Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Westchester County, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Only a guess, but probably hearing loss.
      @AfroSnowman, It’s my opinion that the audiologist's hearing aid expertise, experience, empathy, patience and understanding of the effects of tinnitus on the auditory system is key.

      I must have seen 6-7 audiologists in my tinnitus journey and it was by the guidance of my newest audiologist that made the difference for me. She has all the qualities and qualifications I needed.
       
    9. PeterPan
      Nerdy

      PeterPan Member Advocate

      Location:
      Sydney
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Heat Exhaustion
      Hi @Quiet please,

      How long did it take for the hearing aids to start making a difference? I tried some for about 6 days and I think I began to see an improvement, but not sure. I don’t have too much problem hearing.
       
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    10. Mathieulh
      No Mood

      Mathieulh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Paris, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/24/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chronic headphones use and acute noise induced trauma.
      Am I correct in saying that it is now 2019 (soon to be 2020) and there are still no hearing aids that cover high frequencies? (or anything above 10 kHz really).

      My tinnitus comes from a 14 kHz hearing loss in the left ear, and I find myself lacking any options thus far.
       
    11. Quiet please
      Balanced

      Quiet please Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Westchester County, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Only a guess, but probably hearing loss.
      Hi @PeterPan,

      In my case, my Cochlear Endolymphatic Hydrops symptoms started changing for the better within the first week. The tinnitus went to a softer pitch and the static and fullness was reduced. This is mostly only when I’m wearing the aides. When I take them off, the tinnitus part comes back to about the same loudness but I seem to be much less bothered by it. Almost like the hearing aids have helped me move forward to habituation which has been difficult for me.

      So for my situation, I can say it’s been an improvement using my Phonak Audio Marvel hearing aids. To be able to just tap the aide to turn on the custom masking sound or to use my cellphone to turn on any tinnitus app & listen to music or soothing nature sounds has been most helpful.
       
    12. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I have not found any (I've been looking too).
       
    13. Chriscom

      Chriscom Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Virginia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely infection/ear stress after walking pneumonia
      The quality of the audiologist is key. "Quality" includes both technical skill and a willingness to keep tweaking things until improvements take place--bearing in mind there is only so much that can be done. I'm working with a "hearing instrument specialist" at Costco who has less formal training than my main audiologist but is easier to make appointments with and is very willing to keep fine-tuning things. I don't know how large a city you live in in Indonesia, but I'd at least try asking around before flying to Singapore. Even with a skilled and willing audi, ideally you'll want at least a tweak or two after the first appointment. Some (expensive) hearing aids permit online adjustments, though I don't know if that's practical for you--it requires a decent laptop and connectivity on your end.

      Another route to go, if you're patient and a little technically inclined, is do-it-your-self tweaking.

      As for whether the onset of your tinnitus says anything about how much hearings aids may help, I'm not educated enough to tell. But tinnitus is so variable--maybe!
       
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    14. Chriscom

      Chriscom Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Virginia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely infection/ear stress after walking pneumonia
      I want to add something. I eventually checked your description of your hearing loss. I've only been in this game since May, but I would rate it as relatively mild compared to most of what I've seen. My own hearing has fluctuated but I'm down to 55 or even 60db at high frequencies in my bad ear and 35-40 in lower frequencies, and there are many with far worse.

      So I wonder if your loss is enough to benefit from the "mere" sound amplification/frequency compensation of a hearing aid. I'm not saying that to discourage you at all--because I don't know if that's even a factor--but if you can buy aids with a refund policy that would be wise. Also be aware there are people with great hearing and tinnitus, and bad hearing + no tinnitus, it's just a roullette wheel.

      You might spend some time in the forums at HearingTracker.com though it can be overkill over there.

      https://forum.hearingtracker.com/
       
    15. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, viral?
      That's what I was wondering. Unfortunately I am a bit on my own out here and don't really have a specialist I can work with. Both because of the extremely sudden and mysterious onset (sudden extreme and unexplained...so viral?) and somewhat modest hearing loss I wonder if that excludes me as being a good candidate for hearing aids.

      When I had the original onset I was med-evaced to Singapore and saw some good ENT's and audiologists, none of them suggested or even mentioned hearing aids other than saying that I didn't need them.

      At this point I am looking for relief. I am blessedly emotionally stable and relatively well under the circumstances and have accepted this is going to be my reality at least until Susan Shore gets her device to market. I no longer have a panic response or even major negative response to the sound even at its extremes. The only exception is that when my Tinnitus is really rocking I find it difficult to hear and I get a bit frustrated. When it is moderate to low I don't really have any hearing issues.

      If anyone has any insights to this I'd appreciate input. Again I can get good quality hearing aids here, I just don't have anyone to work with to tell me if I am a good candidate or not.
       
    16. Chriscom

      Chriscom Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Northern Virginia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely infection/ear stress after walking pneumonia
      Well there are two main avenues for moderating tinnitus with hearing aids. One is the reintroduction of sound into damaged hearing. As mentioned before tinnitus reduces for some because the brain isn't grasping for missing inputs anymore, and on top of that the background sounds of daily life can help distract from tinnitus especially if it's mild enough.

      The other avenue is tinnitus therapy, the tones and nature sounds and such, and I'd expect that's potentially helpful regardless of whether you have any hearing loss whatsoever. @Quiet please has hearing aids with that feature, the Phonak Marvel Audeo. I'd wager it's worth investigating.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    17. mrbrightside614

      mrbrightside614 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown; acoustic trauma/hyperacusis/sshl
      Where does somebody get access to high frequency audiograms? As it stands my audiogram is “fine” but they can only measure at 2 kHz, 4 kHz, 6 kHz and 8 kHz as per the “national standard”. What a joke.
       
    18. mrbrightside614

      mrbrightside614 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown; acoustic trauma/hyperacusis/sshl
      I’m waiting to hear back whether Embrace’s Luna indeed covers up to 12 kHz.

      Edit: just heard back. The representative was incredibly understanding and helpful. He verified that one of their hearing aids provide help up to 12 kHz, and their new model includes a tinnitus masker which is basically a white noise switch. He was forthright about this model’s rudimentary masking feature and actually suggested that since tinnitus is my primary concern, that I should see my ENT/audiologist to get fitted with Widex hearing aids as their masking/suppressing technology is evidently far more sophisticated than Embrace’s. He suggested this because my hearing profile up to 8 kHz is perfectly normal, albeit with a few modest dips in the bad ear. I see my ENT on the 11th. I will post an update after my visit.

      Although he literally referred me to a competitor, I have a sneaking suspicion that Embrace’s expanded upper limit will be more useful than the superior masking tools provided by the Widex.
       

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