Hearing Aids

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

    1. Gb3

      Gb3 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sshl
      So they did special adjustments in those frequencies?
       
    2. Lilah
      Mellow

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have been using the Widex Moment 220 for about a day. The white noise feature is at a much lower pitch than my ultra-high pitch tinnitus, there is no possibility to mask it. Even if I could turn the volume to maximum (the audiologist did not give me maximum volume in my settings), I believe I would still hear the tinnitus as I can hear it in an airplane. The audiologist also said there isn't another HA providing a higher pitch white noise sound like violet noise which is what I use through mynoise.net (she said in fact, many have a lower pitch sound). In any case I do believe there is a benefit to using the HA as it moderates/curbs my tinnitus. There is definitely a big difference when I take off the HA, my tinnitus becomes more relentless in a quiet room (which the primary reason I got them, for work and bedroom).

      For outdoors, I plan to use the "Universal" option (no white noise, only hearing aid) instead of white noise. Even though I don't have hearing loss (based on hearing tests), the outside sounds still seemed a bit louder and clearer with the hearing aid feature.

      So, I guess I am bit surprised the white noise doesn't help with the ultra high pitch tinnitus sound at all (I thought it would help a bit). Unfortunately we cannot stream Widex through Android (only iPhone). My audiologist doesn't think I should be streaming other sounds into my HA (such as through mynoise.net); she believes those sounds are not tested for tinnitus and could make tinnitus worse.
       
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    3. kingsfan
      Mellow

      kingsfan Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Southern California
      Tinnitus Since:
      9-17-20 / 10-20-20 / 3-31-21 / 5-23-21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      turning everything up to 11
      Wow, so with no detectable hearing loss, the hearing aid lessens your tinnitus?
       
    4. Lilah
      Mellow

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I would not say lessen the volume, but less piercing. I view the HAs as a "better than nothing" option.
       
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    5. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      That's because your hearing aids don't really reproduce white noise throughout the whole hearing range: they are limited by what their speakers can reproduce. Your tinnitus is probably outside of the range that can be reproduced by the HA, so it just feels like it stands out without any masking.

      That's also why you can hear your tinnitus in an airplane: the droning of an airplane doesn't have much energy in the high frequencies either.
       
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    6. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I have high frequency noise too and my ENT wants me to use hearing aids. Should I skip them?
       
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    7. Lilah
      Mellow

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      If you have hearing loss, the hearing aids may be beneficial in reducing your tinnitus.

      I believe that I am hearing two separate sounds, the lower pitch white noise plus my own tinnitus sound when using the hearing aids. There is absolutely no masking of the higher pitch tinnitus whatsoever. However, I believe the white noise is having the fridge hum effect where I pay a bit less attention to the tinnitus. You can probably get the same effect from a white noise machine. However, I will need an in-ear option as I cannot play sound out loud at work. Plus, I don't believe headphones are safe for long term use.
       
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    8. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Won’t the in-ear noise make it worse eventually?
       
    9. Lilah
      Mellow

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Mine is about the same.
       
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    10. Lilah
      Mellow

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Does anyone know which hearing aid brands are compatible with Android for streaming purposes (directly streaming)? I read above that Phonak is compatible, but curious if any others are as well.
       
    11. Padraigh Griffin

      Padraigh Griffin Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Stress
      80967B08-BCD4-4BBF-9644-BBD77F971D98.png

      I know the answer is to try and see but do people think I would benefit from hearing aids with this attached audiogram? Just that the cost in my country is so high.
       
    12. GregCA
      Jaded

      GregCA Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Yes, people do think that.

      [...and yes, you gotta try and see. Nobody can really tell for sure.]
       
    13. Padraigh Griffin

      Padraigh Griffin Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Stress
      Thanks Greg. I just purchased the Bose SoundControl Hearing Aids on eBay as I can't afford to fork out €6,000 - €7,000. I will report back on how I find them.
       
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    14. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      Those look awesome, I love the price and the self programming. Hopefully it will help with your tinnitus.

      As far as hearing goes remember that it takes time, like 4-8 weeks for your brain to relearn how to interpret the input that has been missing. My hearing isn't particularly bad, mild loss above 4 kHz and I really couldn't tell the difference with them in or not for the first 6 weeks. Now I can notice the difference, slight but noticeable. Sadly it didn't make a lick of difference for my tinnitus though.
       
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    15. Padraigh Griffin

      Padraigh Griffin Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Stress
      Very interesting in the latest Tinnitus Talk Podcast to hear Prof. De Ridder discuss meta analysis study of hearing aid effectiveness.

      Does anyone know where the results of this meta analysis study can be found?

      Incidentally he suggested that 20% benefit substantially from hearing aids according to the results of this study. Would be interesting reading.

      EDIT:

      Amplification with hearing aids for patients with tinnitus and co-existing hearing loss

      Very limited research to be quoting definitely from. Also De Didder suggests less than 6000 Hz but most hearing aids go higher, even up to 10,000 Hz. The technology is also evolving.
       
    16. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Depends on how loud you put it of course.

      My drone noise can be totally turned off (yes, turned off, not masked) by feeding my right ear with a VERY VERY low volume buzzing noise.
       
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    17. Wrfortiscue
      Cowabunga

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      That’s great! I’m assuming the audiologist configures it?
       
    18. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I apologize - I haven't gotten my hearing aids yet. I have an appointment this Friday.
      What I am talking about are regular in-ear headphones that I tried.
       
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    19. Uklawyer

      Uklawyer Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication - antidepressants
      @Ben Winders - is your tinnitus constant throughout the day?
       
    20. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      I have a constant drone in my right ear the entire day, yes. I could turn it off by filling my ear with droning noise during the night, but I recently stopped doing that as I'm assuming it's not healthy long term strategy. Now I'm just trying to live with the drone (not easy).

      I assume it's pretty constant although droning tinnitus is (in my case) very easily "masked" by "noises of the world" > cars driving by (even in the distance), planes flying over, ... they all produce a droning noise.

      When I lie in bed I can change the tinnitus by tapping on my head (or even swallowing). My drone will lower an octave and almost gets a more mechanical brrrrr noise to it, as opposed to the regular bzzzzzz standard that I have. Very weird how a tap on the head will cause this.

      After a couple of seconds, it'll snap out of the brrrr and switch back to the bzzzz.
      So if the accepted theory is that tinnitus is in the brain, it means with a tap on the head I can manipulate my brain to drop the tinnitus by an entire octave? Somehow that seems very implausible.
       
    21. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      If I remember correctly, you went to Coopacou... Dr Fain's protocol is built on the assumption that tinnitus is most of time the consequence of "hidden" hearing loss, especially in high frequencies (that's why most of time standard audiogram up to 8 kHz are normal) and that correcting the hearing loss in these high frequencies along with sound therapy will help...

      When I visited him 2 years ago he did an audiogram up to 16 kHz.

      I am now a bit confused if hearing aids cannot go higher than 8 or 10 kHz... How are they supposed to correct the "high frequency hidden hearing loss" if the technology does not enable to do so? It is their whole approach which would make no sense then...
       
    22. Kam75

      Kam75 Member

      Location:
      FRANCE
      Tinnitus Since:
      2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced trauma in 2014 and 2019+ototoxic drug in 2020
      Hi @Darktale,

      Yes indeed I followed the whole Coopacou protocol (i.e. taking the 5 anti-epileptics and the hearing aid).

      All this did not help at all.

      It is true that the most likely theory about the onset of tinnitus is that it is due to a hearing loss, sometimes on high frequencies only (which is my case).
      Therefore, hearing aids are of no use for high-frequency hearing loss, as they only restore hearing up to 6 kHz generally.

      So I quickly gave up on hearing aids after trying them (I returned them to the audiologist).

      However, for a few months now, my tinnitus has been a little less intense.
      Since I forced myself to listen to my tinnitus all day and nigh instead of masking it, I feel that my condition has improved, especially my sleep.

      I still don't get full nights without waking up (despite the medication) but I sleep much better.

      It is possible to get used to tinnitus, but it takes time.

      At the moment I am waiting to hear more about Susan Shore's device which I hope will benefit us.
       
    23. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      It is weird because I know 2 people who went through the Coopacou protocol too, who have very high pitched tinnitus and who have been somehow helped by the hearing aids... I was sure their hearing aids were correcting their high frequencies losses.

      Additionally, when I discussed with Dr Fain 2 years ago he noticed a loss from 12 kHz up (that I already knew from previous audiogram done at Falguiere) and told me if 1st step drugs were not working we would use hearing aids approach to correct these hearing losses and use sound therapy... It makes no sense if technology is not available .

      I did not start the protocol because I finally got used to the new level of tinnitus at the time (worsened after a fire alarm) but it has worsened again since July and I am now back in the game unfortunately.

      BTW, apparently there are new Extended Bandwidth hearing aids which seems to go up to 12 kHz now:

      Investigation of Extended Bandwidth Hearing Aid Amplification on Speech Intelligibility and Sound Quality in Adults with Mild-to-Moderate Hearing Loss - PubMed (nih.gov)
       
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    24. Optic Axis
      Tired

      Optic Axis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music and industrial machines.
      My audiologist keeps telling me to use hearing aids he has given me which he has put white noise in, though each time I try them I just start getting annoyed with them and can't concentrate on anything but the white noise. I've asked for them to be altered to produce a higher pitched tone (7100 Hz) but he said they don't go that high. He said if I keep wearing the hearing aids eventually I will learn to not listen to my tinnitus. I told him the problem with that is that as I've had tinnitus since my early 20's and possibly teens I've always kept it under control so to speak and as I got older, I thought it was already as loud as it could get, then it got louder, and then I thought this was very loud and then it got louder again.

      Going by how in the appointment he said he can hear his tinnitus now while we are talking (when he concentrates on it) I think his is quiet in comparison and is probably the volume mine used to be 20 years ago (when sounds like the sea used to mask it) but now nothing masks it, it seems like he thinks the volume is just how people describe it and not an actual measure of severity. But I think it is a measure of severity, given that the last time I noticed mine jumped in volume was when I left a manufacturing job with very loud Presses followed shortly by a night out where I spent too long in a club and couldn't hear much for 3 days after we left. Obviously I could be wrong about what he thinks but it does seem that's it.

      I just don't get why he thinks I will benefit from white noise which doesn't reach the frequency of my tinnitus but doesn't seem to understand when I told him that I can play a grainy tone at 7100 in normal headphones and get an immediate benefit from it, not just that it cancels out the tinnitus but also give me a sense that pressure in my head is reducing and also my eyes seem to focus more (I believe that my brain is devoting so much resource to making the tinnitus sound and then listening to it that it doesn't have anything left to deal with other functions I used to be able to do normally), which makes me function better.

      I also told him (and a previous audiologist) about some over the ear noise cancelling headphones I had been given (Bose QuietComfort 2) and how I tried them with the noise cancelling feature on and had immediate benefit from them as well, but not in that it dealt with the tinnitus, it actually felt like it was normalising pressure either side of my ears, which 'cleared' my head, made my eyes focus better (I have diplopia, I can put one eye in two positions, 'relaxed' is double vision and 'forced' is normal vision, forced is getting harder and harder and I get tired sooner in the day the older I get) and enabled me to concentrate.

      He seems so adamant that the hearing aids are the way to go that I got the feeling it wasn't registering what I was saying about the high pitched noise and the noise cancelling, especially as last time I saw him several years ago I told him that sometimes my tinnitus cuts out - it stops completely and for a few seconds I return to normal, I'm tinnitus free until it fades back in again, and he said everyone has moments where they stop listening to their tinnitus, but that's not what I said. I said the tinnitus stops, not that I stop listening to it but he clearly didn't listen to what I said. Now I mentioned the noise cancelling headphones I got the impression he wasn't listening again and it didn't register in his head that I was only using the noise cancelling feature, not listening to anything through them but I was getting immediate benefit from them. So I get the feeling he has this one treatment they do for people, regardless of reported severity, cause or other possibly related symptoms and isn't open to considering that a persons self-help method could possibly be better than the current best thing.

      I'm not one for listening to music in headphones so I never thought they'd be an answer to the question I asked him but yesterday I thought to google 'noise cancelling in the ear' saw that in the earbuds can have active noise cancelling in them. I think I just now need to get a pair (cheap as possible but do the job still) and if they do just as well as the Bose ones I'll be able to use them at work without having a length of cable to hide in my clothing and not look like I am listening to music and not concentrating on work.
       
    25. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Your audiologist has the right approach but I don't agree with his methods. Unless you have hearing loss you shouldn't really be wearing hearing aids. There are hearing aids that incorporate white noise, these are for people that have tinnitus with or without hyperacusis and have hearing loss.

      The correct way to use them is to set the white noise slightly below the tinnitus and not at the mixing point, where it blends with the tinnitus. Neither should the white noise be set louder than the tinnitus. This is the reason you are finding the devices difficult to use. By setting the white noise higher than the tinnitus, there is the risk of aggravating it and if you are sensitive to sound or experiencing hyperacusis, you could cause irritation here too and possibly worsen any oversensitivity to sound you may have.

      The correct way to use white noise in hearing aids is to set it slightly below the tinnitus. Over time the brain habituates to the white noise and slowly pushes the tinnitus further into the background. At the same time any oversensitivity to sound or hyperacusis you are experiencing will be desensitized.

      Hearing aids fitted with white noise are known as dual purpose devices. Normally the user can adjust the volume of the white noise via a volume control fitted to the unit or turn it off completely. If the user doesn't have hearing loss the hearing aids can be deactivated by the audiologist at the time of fitting. I have these devices and they function purely as white noise generators.

      Whether a person is using white noise generators or dual-purpose units with hearing aid and white noise, the white noise should be introduced slowly, to try and reduce irritating the tinnitus and hyperacusis if present. Set the white noise slightly below the tinnitus and listen for one hour or two then turn it off for the same duration. After the elapsed time, continue listening to the white noise for a further one or two hours. Repeat this process throughout the day and for 1 week.

      The idea is to slowly increase listening to white noise until you are able to listen continuously for up to 8 or 10 hours a day. This is achievable but will take time and patience.

      Michael
       
    26. DaveFromChicago

      DaveFromChicago Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headcold/Flu
      To Optic Axis:

      One Rule of Thumb I apply is to never listen to Michael Leigh.

      He has no credentials whatsoever for dispensing advice about hearing aids, and purports a lot of sheer junk science, especially in regard to his endless TRT rigmarole.

      He knows as much about this subject as I know about Quantum Astrophysics.

      Since 07/2015 I have been wearing the Widex hearing aids that has a white noise feature, and Michael's comment about "adjusting" to 10 hours per day of white noise is patently idiotic. It never occurs to him that all you are doing is creating an unbearable level of discomfort by layering a loud artificial tinnitus sound on top of the natural one. His comment about "pushing tinnitus further into the background" is utterly without substance or content.

      Do the the hearing aids when turned up to maximum capacity reduce the tinnitus at all? A New Yorker Magazine reporter who had tinnitus and hearing loss said that he was told by his Audiologist that it can take up to one month for the brain to acclimate itself to the increased resonance of the hearing aids.

      You mentioned that playing a "grainy tone" at 7100 Hz gives you some sort of benefit. I have surfed You Tube to find the best sounds that can even temporarily reduce my tinnitus.

      You are correct; experiment with various methods. The best advice I can give is to be Your Own Best Doctor with this baffling, elusive malady.
       
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    27. Optic Axis
      Tired

      Optic Axis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1994
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music and industrial machines.
      Thanks for taking the time to reply Michael. I do feel though that the white noise is too distracting for me. I don't know why especially as I can play a higher pitched noise and not be bothered by it at all. I'll play in when I am at home and do other things, like watch YouTube videos and I can differentiate between the different sources of the noise but with white noise I can't. Even noise cancelling headphones do something that helps me concentrate more. I don't use them for listening to anything, I just use the noise cancelling feature. I believe that something that give an immediate benefit is what I need and not something which has no definite duration for when I will feel the benefit.
      Thanks, and I'm inclined to agree with you. A problem I have though is a distrust of experts so I need to be sure I'm not negatively biased against their advice. Some time ago (about 17 years) I returned some glasses I bought as I couldn't see through them very well. My old pair were actually better. The optician told me I just had to get used to them. I took them back 3 times over a year and they said the same thing each time. 14 years and 7 different opticians later I have wised up a lot and done my own research. I begin to tell them what my problem is and they all still say no, the new glasses they are making will correct my vision. I end up demanding to see a specialist and the last optician says they can get someone else to test me. That person spent 45 minutes doing a test and then had to stop because she had run out of lenses to try - the frames were full and they only had certain lenses up to 10 diopters. Just as I had told the last few opticians, I had double vision and I needed prism correction, but it wasn't just a little bit, I need so much that they can't make glasses that would sit correctly because the lenses would be so thick. Over the previous 14 years I should have been given glasses with an increasing amount of prism as my eyes got gradually worse until they stopped getting worse at around 15 diopters. None of the opticians picked it up, not even when I told them exactly what the problem was, in fact despite me telling them what it was they still did the tests the usual way which caused me to strain my eyes so hard to read (and guess) the smallest letters that the need for prism wasn't detected. I told them I needed to be tested with both eyes uncovered and me completely relaxed, not strained trying to read tiny writing. Only the woman who did the final test did what I said and she said she spotted immediately something was wrong. I've been going to the hospital now for 3 years and still haven't got anything sorted. I'm waiting for surgery but it's even taken the NHS so long to do something which shouldn't have even taken a year.

      So I'm very cautious of expert advice and people telling me I'm getting it wrong when I have been exactly right before. I mean how are they going to make progress with treating tinnitus if they just default to the same method each time even after being given new information by a patient. My audiologist had no idea noise cancelling headphones caused any effect other than reducing noise so when I told him about the feeling of pressure changing he wasn't processing what I was saying all he was thinking was I should be listening to him when he is telling me to use the white noise generating hearing aids. Why couldn't he think, hold on, maybe there is something in this then that will benefit others too, perhaps I should ask this patient to come back to us with a progress report?

      Anyway I've given myself an hour long session of listening to high pitched noise through the house speakers for 3 days running and my tinnitus today is reduced to being in just one ear and a tiny squeal. I'll probably never know if it's because of the sessions or not, but I know it's not down to sleeping well because I haven't slept any better than I usually do.
       
    28. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      You must do what you feel is best Optic Axis.

      Take care and I wish well,
      Michael
       
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    29. Philip83
      Jaded

      Philip83 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Moped (2001) Noise blast (2014) Club (2017) Snowboard (2018)
      I just got the Phonak Audéo Paradise P90 to try for free for 5 weeks. I've literally just used them for a few hours so far, but my impression is carefully optimistic. I almost always have a 7-8 tinnitus and 7-8 hyperacusis nowadays. The most surprising thing is that they're slightly improving my hyperacusis, especially when it comes to my own voice that a lot of the time has been boomy and loud and annoying inside my head since my last noise trauma a year ago. Also, the tinnitus/hyperacusis reactivity seems better. Listening to music, even at low volume, usually gets me annoyed quite easily because my tinnitus starts ramping up along with other sounds. This seems to be reduced by the hearing aid too. And the good part is I can have the volume even lower than before and still hear it better!

      I wouldn't say the tinnitus is greatly reduced, although maybe by 5-ish %, but my annoyance by it is definitely down by a few steps. The re-gained higher frequency register is keeping my brain busier with that instead, I guess.

      What is really amazing though is how well I hear the TV and music now! Even though my hearing loss is only mild/moderate, it's a huge difference in how much less I have to concentrate to hear, which in turn also reduces the annoyance of my tinnitus. The audiologist made a comparison to have slightly bad eye sight, which I thought was pretty accurate; You could have only a marginal decline in you sight, but over time since you pretty much always use your eyes, your brain will subconsciously make you squint ever so slightly, causing strain and fatigue.

      Anyways, will try and write a review on how this whole thing went after the 5 weeks.
       
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    30. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      I got myself one in-ear hearing aid with built in tinnitus masker, it will arrive tomorrow.

      I don't have much expectations in regards to the tinnitus loudness reduction, but I really hope to achieve at least the same effect when masking at home.

      My hearing loss is mild, so I have more hopes on the masking functionality. I really hope that it works so I can do outdoor activities without crippling anxiety.
       
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