Hearing Aids

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

    1. Bartoli

      Bartoli Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2009,worsened 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I have almost the same audiogram as you. -15 dB at 4000 Hz, which is the lowest dip in the standard audiogram. left ear is at the 0 dB treshold. In the extended audiogram things are far worse in that I don't hear much over 12 kHz in my right ear, even though when tested they found I could hear 14 kHz at -55 dB. (This went from inaudible at -50 dB to almost painfully loud and shrill at -55 dB-hence I stopped the testing but likely 16 kHz is worse.) Because my tinnitus seems to center around 12 kHz almost nothing can mask it, and it's horrible.

      To answer your question: I was told I would not benefit from hearing aids. My speech-in noise tests came back just as well in my right ear as my left. Both ears were normal. I do however struggle to understand speech when multiple people are talking, and frankly these environments make me uncomfortable. What age are you if you don't mind me asking?
       
    2. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud live music show
      Thanks for the info. I’m 38 years old.
       
    3. Frédéric

      Frédéric Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Advocate

      Location:
      Marseille, France
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/19/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Self-perception of tinnitus: study before and after adaptation of hearing aids

      Purpose

      To verify the benefits of using hearing aids in self-perception of tinnitus in adults and elderly without previous experience of amplification.

      Methods

      The study included individuals of both gender, with tinnitus complaint, accompanied in public hospital. The following tests and instruments were used to measure tinnitus and determine its discomfort: pitch and loudness, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), minimum masking level, residual inhibition and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). The evaluations were performed in two stages: before the adaptation of the hearing aids and after one month of use of the devices.

      Results

      Of the 20 participants, 60% were elderly. There was a difference in self-perception of tinnitus before and after hearing aid fitting, as measured by THI and VAS. Differences in psychoacoustic measures were also observed, with the exception of pitch, before and after amplification. In addition, there was a correlation between tinnitus time and age with final THI scores.

      Conclusion

      The use of hearing aids was determined to reduce the annoyance caused by tinnitus, with changes in psycho-acoustic measures and impact on quality of life.

      Keywords: Tinnitus; Hearing aids; Hearing; Hearing loss; Audiology

      Source: https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S2317-64312020000100321&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en
       
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    4. Rio80

      Rio80 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis + Neurotoxicity
      I have Signia hearing aids and had no idea this even existed! I want to believe that you're a real person who experienced real results rather than a shill for Signia simply trying to get them more sales as this is your one and only post on this forum so yes, please post your paper in this thread if and when you're done. I along with others would be very curious to read it...
       
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    5. wwtsai
      Assassinator

      wwtsai Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      San Francisco
      Tinnitus Since:
      Mild (2016) Bothersome (8/20)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SNHL
      Did you end up trying the notch therapy out since you have Signia hearing aids?
       
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    6. Aaron91
      Gloomy

      Aaron91 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music/headphones/concerts - Hyperacusis from motorbike
      I realise this may not be the appropriate thread to ask this question, but in the interests of hyperacusis sufferers, I will anyway: does anyone with hearing aids experience some mild sensitivity, perhaps even pain, to sound when they are not wearing them?

      Or alternatively, has anyone seen their sensitivity or pain to sound improve since they got their hearing aids?

      I am intrigued by some anecdotal cases of people's tinnitus improving with hearing aids, suggesting then a very basic issue of loss of input, and I'm curious as to whether this logic could be extended to hyperacusis.
       
    7. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      I’m considering a hearing aid for my very very very mild hearing loss that is creating very very very annoying tinnitus in my left ear. What absolutely mystifies me is why hearing aids are not covered in the US.

      My dad has appreciable occupational related hearing loss and he has paid thousands of dollars just to be able to hear. When you can’t hear it impacts all levels of your functioning. And for people with appreciable hearing loss it’s a safety hazard. What if you don’t hear that car coming that didn’t sound their horn because they didn’t see you?

      In absent of any cure, I don’t understand why treatment and management of tinnitus is not covered. TRT, etc. I know I’m just venting here but it’s just very frustrating. It’s not like you’re asking for a nose job or some other cosmetic surgery. You just want to restore your hearing and possibly minimize your distress. But alas, they would much rather have you on psychotropic medication to manage your associated depression and anxiety. CBT is covered but it is very difficult to find a therapist that specializes in tinnitus. The two that I found that are well-known for treatment of tinnitus, one a psychologist, and one an audiologist, don’t take insurance at all and it cost thousands of dollars to see them for their entire course of treatment.

      It’s just very frustrating. It’s bad enough that there’s no money for research. It’s bad enough that this is a multi factorial condition that they just can’t figure out how to treat. So if there are a few things that will help people manage why can’t insurance just cover them?

      Thanks for listening to my rant.
       
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    8. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      If you have very mild hearing loss, then hearing aids are not going to help your tinnitus as they are the wrong devices. The correct ones are white noise generators but they should be used alongside counselling, by a therapist that understands tinnitus. Ideally, the therapist should have the condition. Saying that, white noise generators can be used quite successfully, by someone that has had it for quite a while and they are not overly distressed by it. If the tinnitus is making you depressed and anxious, you may need medication too even if you were to start TRT or CBT.

      Michael
       
    9. Quiet please
      Balanced

      Quiet please Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Westchester County, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cochlear Endolymphatic Hydrops/Hearing loss
      @Forever hopeful, I agree with your post; hearing loss & Tinnitus treatment should be covered by all insurance.

      I’m almost 11 years with tinnitus & I’ve learned some things along the way.

      First, tinnitus is not a one fix all. There is too wide a range of reasons why we have tinnitus to just say this or that will help but this will not. One should try everything that MAY help your specific type of tinnitus.

      I do agree that some can be helped with noise generators, but not all. I disagree with those who say hearing aids do not help with tinnitus if you have mild hearing loss. I’m an example of that. When I started this journey I had mild hearing loss for several years. My multiple ENTs and audiologists at the time told me that it’s not necessary to get hearing aids. Frankly I was glad because I didn’t want to use them anyway. But in retrospect, I feel it was a warning of things to come. The tinnitus hit me like a ton of bricks and my hearing loss took a turn for the worse. Then I woke up one morning with SSHL and was lucky to recover 60% of my hearing through steroid injections but my word recognition is awful at 12%. I mention all this because after seeing several otolaryngology specialists in New York, I was told that early intervention of hearing aids would more than likely have helped greatly. Not everyone will agree, but I do. Now when I don’t wear them for a while, the tinnitus gets louder and I feel off kilter and quite miserable.

      I wear Phonak “cross-over” hearing aids and they are truly helping me. They are very tiny and discreet. I used a hearing aide referral service called Hearing Care Solutions. They checked my insurance and informed me I had a $2500 coverage, found me the perfect in-network audiologist, made me an appointment and gave me an additional discount. I used Care Credit to pay off my hearing aids with no interest over 16 months. If your doctor is recommending hearing aids, you should do everything you can to get them. I only wish I had started using them years sooner. All the best!
       
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    10. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      HI, Quiet Please, hope you are keeping well. I would like to add: Hearing aids can help reduce tinnitus if hearing loss is the cause of it.
       
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    11. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      @Quiet please, thanks for your reply. My ENT actually suggested last year that I might consider the lowest - meaning the minimal beginner hearing aids I guess for lack of a better way to describe it for my left ear only. That is where my hearing loss is. There is some thinking that by evening out the auditory input between the two ears, it would alleviate tinnitus to a certain extent. No one is certainly suggesting it will cure it.

      I am scheduled to see an otologist/neurologist @ Mass. Eye and Ear in Boston in a few weeks. I’ll be interested to see what he has to say. Right now I have to go through all this crazy testing because my hearing loss is unilateral and they need to figure out what’s going on. At the end of the day my minor hearing loss may be the least of my problems.

      May I ask is your SSHL bilateral? I’m on Prednisone oral right now.
       
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    12. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud live music show
      FWIW, my tinnitus was caused by acoustic trauma, and even though my audiogram is normal, I find that slight amplification on my hearing aids does help with the tinnitus.

      I suspect that even with a normal audiogram, I still have “hidden hearing loss,” which the amplification is helping with.
       
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    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You have found benefit using hearing aids and that's fine. However, the correct devices for treating tinnitus and hyperacusis are not hearing aids. I will explain.

      Some people develop tinnitus because they have significant hearing loss that will show up on an audiogram. As a result the brain will struggle to hear sound from the outside environment. To compensate for the deficiency, the brain will turn up its internal gain, similar to a volume control on a radio. Unfortunately, by increasing background activity tinnitus can develop. Once a person is fitted with suitable hearing aid(s) more sound is delivered to the ear and auditory system and thus, the brain no longer have to struggle to hear outside sounds, so reduces its internal gain and with time the tinnitus will reduce.

      This is the reason Audiologists and Hearing Therapists often advise tinnitus patients not to sleep in a quiet room. While we are asleep, if the brain hears silence it can increase its background activity and also the tinnitus. This can make it louder during waking hours. Using low level sound enrichment during the night, the brain no longer hears silence. If a person develops tinnitus caused by exposure to loud noise or headphone use and also has hearing loss. They can be fitted with dual-purpose hearing aid units that also have white noise fitted. The hearing aid can be used independently or with white noise.

      When a person has tinnitus and no hearing loss is present, as some people do with noise induced tinnitus, they may also have hyperacusis. Whether they have tinnitus alone or with hyperacusis - if they wish to treat these conditions, the correct devices to use are white noise generators. White noise emitted into the ear will desensitize the hyperacusis over time lowering the oversensitivity. The brain will also habituate to the white noise and push the tinnitus slowly into the background making its perception less noticeable. This is the reason white noise generators are used as part of TRT. I used them and my hyperacusis was completely cured in two years. I still use white noise generators whenever I feel the need.

      Michael
       
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    14. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      You should give it a shot. One this forum alone, many people (including myself) are helped by hearing aids.

      I got mine from Costco. I wouldn't say it's cheap, but it's the most reasonable option cost-wise, compared to alternatives.

      Many places have trial periods, where you can return the HAs if you are not happy with them for whatever reason. That limits your financial risk. Check it out.

      Good luck.
       
    15. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud live music show
      @Michael Leigh, I agree that white noise generators can help with tinnitus. This is probably the case whether or not one has hearing loss in an audiogram.

      There is a separate question which is: in addition to white noise, can amplification be additionally helpful even for patients with a clean audiogram? In my case, the answer seems to be yes. And my best guess for why is: that I may have hidden hearing loss, not captured in a standard audiogram, which the amplification is helping with.

      So in my case, I am using both white noise and amplification, and I find both to be helpful.
       
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    16. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      The advice I give in this forum is for guidance and is not absolute, and have mentioned this many times. If one finds relief from their tinnitus by their own means it should be encouraged. I have often said headphones and earbuds should not be used to play white noise into the ears especially for someone with noise induced tinnitus. This advice is not said on a whim. During correspondence with people on the telephone, at forums and email, I've learned many people with noise induced tinnnitus that have tried this form of therapy and not used white noise generators that are meant for this purpose, have noticed their tinnitus and hyperacusis increase. However, Coffeebean a forum member, successfully treated his tinnitus and reduced his hyperacusis to practically zero playing white noise through earbuds. He was very careful doing this and it worked for him. It is still something I don't advise anyone with noise induced tinnitus to try. White noise generators and hearing aids are completely different from headphones and earbuds. I have explained these differences a few times in this forum.

      Michael
       
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    17. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      My understanding is that this is common and prescribed by audiologists using hearing aids to both amplify higher frequency sound (attempting to saturate lost frequencies), combined with white noise, milking every bit of relief possible from both sources.
       
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    18. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Unless I'm misunderstanding, I didn't read @Poseidon65's comment as referring to earbuds. Rather, I read it as referring to hearing aids which are commonly used to simultaneously amplify sound and generate white noise in treating tinnitus.
       
    19. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      White noise generators emit white noise and are used for treating tinnitus and hyperacusis. Hearing aids are for people with hearing loss. Their purpose is to increase sound from the outside environment and funnel it down the ear canal, auditory system to the brain. They do not emit white noise. When a person develops tinnitus due to hearing loss, hearing aid(s) can be fitted and over time the increased sound supplied to the brain, it will often reduce the tinnitus as it is no longer has to struggle to hear sounds from the environment.

      Dual purpose hearing aids are fitted with separate white noise generators. The white noise can be turned off or used alongside the hearing aid.

      I correspond with people that have developed noise induced tinnitus but have no hearing loss, this is quite common. Some audiologists are quick to suggest the patient should be fitted with hearing aids at considerable expense. This is not right and in my opinion, unscrupulous behaviour purely to generate business. I know what I'm talking about and could go into more detail but will refrain from doing so.

      All the best.
      Michael
       
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    20. Jack V

      Jack V Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      I'm referring to dual purpose hearing aids that can provide relief from both amplification and white noise.

      Interestingly, tinnitus relief from amplification, at least to some extent, can be instantaneous. The idea is that by amplifying higher frequencies that have been damaged, the brain, bathed with input that had been missing, responds by lowering the tinnitus. Works differently for different people, of course, and the type of hearing aid, its frequency range, how it's set up, and the nature of your tinnitus, all play a role. It's not a magic bullet, but it can help.

      While I'm sure there are unscrupulous audiologists, fortunately there are also many scrupulous ones who understand that a conventional audiogram might not show higher frequency hearing loss, and a hearing aid can still be helpful in providing some relief.

      When @Poseidon65 says "I still have 'hidden hearing loss,' which the amplification is helping with," I believe that's what he's referring to.
       
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    21. gregmech26
      Torturous

      gregmech26 Member

      Location:
      Commerce Township, Michigan - USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Neuroma vestibular schwannoma brain tumor
      This is exactly the case with me. I prefer amplification alone (of the natural quiet environment) over white noise or ring tones.

      Today, I tried the new (September 2020) hearing aid called ReSound One ($3,500 USD for only one) and it was really good at alleviating my tinnitus. The 6 white noise features were also nice.

      Also, I noticed it's very important to use the correct "ear bud" for your ear canal, as different sizes and shapes affect the performance of the hearing aid for each individual.

      Thank goodness I still have some usable hearing left in my right ear in order to still be able to use hearing aids. Hopefully this will remain the case for me at my "10 year post-Gamma Knife" anniversary 5 years from now.

      I don't know what I will do if I lose all my hearing, and hence no longer will be able benefit from hearing aids to alleviate my tinnitus.
       
    22. rid0871

      rid0871 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      may of 2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      had my neck adjusted
      I bought a pair of hearing aids which cost $7500. It's time for new ones but I want ones that can be adjusted at the higher frequency ranges. Help please. There are so many.

      Thank you.
       
    23. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud live music show
      I would recommend trialing a few models and seeing what you like best. This should be possible at an audiologist's office.
       
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    24. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud live music show
      Does anyone know of a study looking at the effect of hearing aids on Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), in patients *without* measurable hearing loss?

      I ask because hearing aids seem to help me, even though I have a normal audiogram.
       
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    25. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      How do they help you?
       
    26. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A loud live music show
      With some slight gain, the world around me sounds a bit louder, and this helps me focus more on external sound at the expense of my internal sounds.
       
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    27. ChristopherPage

      ChristopherPage Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, perhaps noise exposure
      Any advice on hearing devices that are both BTE (behind-the-ear) and which have Bluetooth? I don't have any hearing loss, so don't need amplification. But, I want something that keeps my ear canals open and which I can use apps to play different sounds (music, notched sounds, white noise) via Bluetooth. I don't care about any of the propriety software that comes with some high end hearing aids.

      I've had trouble finding something that fits the bill that *isn't* also a hearing aid (and thus, really overcosted). Maybe I just find the cheapest hearing aid I can that is both BTE and Bluetooth and go with that? If anyone is aware of another option, I am ALL EARS :headphone:.
       
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    28. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      I don’t have a recommendation but be sure you get one that can use its microphone with Bluetooth. I was set up with Widex Moment for its masking and tone programs. I was surprised to find that while I can listen with Bluetooth, I still have to talk into the phone for someone/Siri to hear me.
       
    29. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Go to Amazon.com and search "behind the ear bluetooth". Lots of results to choose from.
       
    30. chamferman
      Musical

      chamferman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/ 2013
      Hello Michael,

      This is not the case for me, I have mild hearing loss in my left ear and my hearing aid definitely helps with my tinnitus. I know this as my tinnitus always increases in severity when I am not wearing it or the battery goes flat. In fact my hearing aid is the only thing that's ever made a difference to my tinnitus. If my tinnitus increases I always check my hearing aid first.

      My hearing aid plays white noise but I never use it as I have habituated.

      Simon
       
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