Hearing Aids

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

  1. Watch Hazel share good news about tinnitus
    1. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      This is getting pretty 'effete' to be honest.

      Why are you so obsessed with Michael, @DaveFromChicago?

      Michael has obviously shared some very good pieces of advice across this forum. Some pieces though, I do not agree with at all, but does that give incentives to completely cancel his character? I'd say definitely not.
      I think this issue stems more from terminology, rather than actual conditions. Michael has never denied that tinnitus can react, because it can - both mine, yours and Michael's tinnitus has reacted to sound. Michael purposes that the reason it reacts is due to hyperacusis which can manifest in different forms and severities. It's a means of explaining the root mechanism behind the reactivity. It's a remark that 'reactive tinnitus' isn't a completely separate medical phenomenon. You may suffer some minor form of hyperacusis which causes yours to react, @DaveFromChicago?

      I personally think it's okay to call the phenomenon 'reactive tinnitus', but I digress.
       
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    2. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      Exactly this.

      @DaveFromChicago, I honestly think the argument is a semantic one. I think there can be a symptomatic intersect between tinnitus and (perhaps mild) hyperacusis, which can cause some people's tinnitus to react to external sound.

      I suppose this 'reactive tinnitus' could be thought of as a unique malady all of its own if one wished, but really, what's the point? I tend to believe it's healthier for us to try and simplify our condition rather than layer it with additional skins.

      Have you come across Neil Bauman? I bought his book, Hypersensitive To Sound (cheap download version) when I started suffering from mild hyperacusis about 6 months ago. He goes into this stuff in quite a lot of detail that I found useful, even calming in a way.

      Whether you read the book or not, try and avoid getting into online shitfests that roll on for weeks because believe me (although I tend to think you probably already know it) the stress will reek havoc with your tinnitus. Deep breaths, man, have a good xmas.
       
    3. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thanks Michael, I find your advice useful, especially in regards to the topic of the hearing aids and the way they can help. In just a few days I already see noticeable improvements. Today I had a great time with my family and friends for a Christmas dinner and whilst I was still perceiving tinnitus from time to time, my hearing aid with sound amplification reduced my anxiety from 7 to maybe 1 or 2. If I didn't come on this topic, I would've ran the white noise with little amplification and I am sure my perception of tinnitus + irritation from the white noise would've been much higher as well as the anxiety. For this alone I am very thankful, so I am proof of the legitimacy of your advice above.

      If I read comments like the one I was replying to, or engaging in such discussions my anxiety goes berserk and I usually can't sleep or have spikes. That's just extremely measurable.
       
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    4. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      I am not aware of your conflict with Michael. We all may have differences in our opinions but I notice you really take it extremely personally with insults as if you are looking for some kind of revenge.
      I am allergic to hypocrites, hence my reaction to Marx. Same as my mentioning of Markle. I wonder if someone quoted Hitler, would that be cool?

      I can tell you exactly why I reacted to your post. I came on this topic to discuss hearing aids, nothing more than that. Michael was saying something about hearing aids and how it can help in some cases. You post a comment that, in a nutshell, is just saying how unacceptable habituation is and how we need real silence. I, as many others, are trying my best to keep my anxiety at bay, I'm seeing your comment and it drives up my anxiety and throws me back into the negativity spiral. Why would you do that to other people? We were talking about setting up hearing aids for masking, not discussing whether habituation is good or bad. Don't you have empathy for sufferers like myself? I have never said that habituation is fantastic, I just always say it's the only option to get back some life, so I am working on it. Neither did I ever say that it'd work for everyone, but I am doing everything possible to achieve it myself and I personally know (not from this forum) severe sufferers who did achieve that.

      I saw you doing the same on some habituation stories and I always thought, why would you do this? Do you think guys like myself suffer less than you do? We surely know how bad tinnitus is, how habituation is not possible for everyone, how it is less than no tinnitus at all. Last time I made a comment defending a story like that I was called out as someone "downplaying the condition", that really hurt me personally. The amount of destruction that this condition brought to my life has been immense. I never ever downplayed it to anyone, I am supporting whoever I can, while suffering myself. But I am looking for practical ways to make the impact less severe. Habituation, coping, wearing a hearing aid, wearing whatever, sure, bring it on. To me every notch that my anxiety can go down is a win.
      I checked Michael's advice with my audiologist who is formally trained and she confirmed it was correct.
      Do you always personally attack people who try to express their opinions to you? I don't know your history with Michael, but I don't recall that I attacked you as a person. I actually stressed that I understand that you are suffering and that's why you don't agree with some things. I hate communist ideology and hypocrites as much as I hate the nazism or racism, but that's a political debate, has nothing to do with you as person either.

      Where on earth did I even gaslight you and/or denied anything???
      What does TRT even have to do with this? We were talking about hearing aids!
      You seriously need to work on your anger issues. Why are you calling me names? I didn't do that to you.
       
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    5. Quiet please
      Balanced

      Quiet please Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Westchester County, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cochlear Endolymphatic Hydrops/Hearing loss
      Anyway... getting back to hearing aids.

      8 years ago I started with a traditional hearing aid which a highly ineffective audiologist advised would help not only my hearing, but my tinnitus. It did help my hearing but nothing for my tinnitus. Surprise!

      As these things are pretty expensive as I’m sure you all know, I wore my traditional hearing aids for too long (4 years) while both my hearing loss and tinnitus got steadily worse.

      Then one morning 4 years ago, I woke to SSHL in my “bad” ear. Almost completely deaf but of course the tinnitus was as loud or as I recall, louder than ever. I thought maybe the anxiety was doing that spiking thing it does. I immediately called my ENT’s office and was told to get in there ASAP for an audiogram and most likely 3 days of steroid shots. The shots were nasty. I got nauseous and had short lived Vertigo which is never fun. But after a month, I got back 90% or so of my hearing loss but the word recognition took a dive. A big one. Of course.

      Then on to a new highly recommended audiologist to check out a different type of hearing aid. A bicross-over. I immediately Google this miracle device. Hmmm Well, maybe. I’ll give it a try because apparently there is a specific criteria for it to truly work. One ear good, one ear bad.

      A small miracle here. It actually helps. Is it perfect? No. Is it worse when I don’t wear them? Absolutely yes. I’m not here to sell anything or discuss politics or quarrel. We are all in the same freaking boat. Let’s help each other. Anyone need my limited amount of help with a sprinkling of my experience advice, I’m here. But be nice. I’m sensitive.
       
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    6. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Hi @Michael Leigh, just wanted to update you on my current situation and maybe obtain some guidance from you. It’s been a week now that I have been using the hearing aid. Apart from one day, I don’t use the white noise setting, only the sound amplification, which is set to maximum. I use it only when I am outside, which is probably about 6 hours a day now due to the holidays.

      I had a few relatively quiet days, although it varies. On the 24th I had a very good day with more quiet tinnitus, but the 25th was bad and the tinnitus was loud and screechy. Yesterday was a rather quiet day too and when I woke up this morning it stayed on a quiet side. A few hours ago my battery ran out and when the hearing aid switched off, the ear was plugged by it and I preserved my tinnitus with a severe grief and anxiety. I quickly changed the battery and put the aid back in, although the volume is much higher and the pitch is higher - I can easily measure it by the masking (enrichment) video that I use at home. It’s a few notches up from yesterday or this morning.

      I had these variations before the hearing aid too, so I don’t think it’s caused by it. I actually have more quieter days now, but they vary almost consistently.

      I probably need to just carry on with what I’m doing. I have also withdrawn myself from all other threads apart from success stories and research as my mental state is extremely fragile at the moment... I hope that if I can have better days like yesterday, the spikes like the one now can become less and less... Hoping to stabilise at least in that level.
       
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    7. Philip83
      Jaded

      Philip83 Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Moped (2001) Noise blast (2014) Club (2017) Snowboard (2018)
      Here's a three week update of me using my Phonak Paradise P90. Overall it's been a surprising success, especially for my hyperacusis!

      I have mild to moderate hearing loss, with the classic sharp dip after 4000 Hz. See audiogram at the bottom of this post.

      Impact on:

      Hearing:
      One thing that surprised me is that there is no perceived increase in volume when I use the hearing aids. I almost need to double check sometimes wether they are even on because I can almost not tell. The amplification is set between 5-7 dB, and never higher than 7 dB. The clarity improves quite a bit though, which is the most stark when I turn them on and off while listening to music or the TV. It's a very close analogy to turning on and off a V-shaped EQ in a music player. When turned off, my hearing sounds dull and muddy and when I turn them on it's crisp and sharp, yet not painful.

      Tinnitus:
      During the first 3-4 days my tinnitus increased somewhat. I have the super high-pitched cicada -style in both ears/head and also a ≈4000 Hz tone in my left ear and a ≈1000 Hz tone in my right ear. Both of the "pure"-tones got louder while the cicada sound wasn't affected much. However, it is almost as if the hearing aids has kicked habituation into overdrive. My emotional response, even though the tinnitus went up, went way down and has stayed that way until now. After about 3-4 days the tones also subsided more or less to the levels they were before.

      Hyperacusis:
      Here is where the pleasant surprise has happened. I was mostly worried that my H, which has been my main struggle this last year with pain almost everyday (both simultaneous with noise and lingering), would worsen with the hearing aids but the exact opposite has turned out to be true. My pain hyperacusis is virtually gone, which is frankly baffling. Loud noises, especially sudden ones, are still annoying and feels too loud, but they are pretty much never causing pain anymore. My own and other peoples voices also hurt/causes annoyance way less. I have dysacusis in my left ear since my last noise trauma a year ago and this has unfortunately not resolved, but it used to be directly linked to a pain response, which it is no longer.

      My loudness hyperacusis is also greatly reduced, I would say by maybe 30-40%. Both with sudden noises and more prolonged exposure like watching TV, listening to music or driving. It's as if the hearing aid is doing some of the lifting work for my brain, which in tern relaxes the whole hearing apparatus and I have more strength to tolerate sound.

      Other:
      My TTTS is about the same but it has periods when it seems less than before. Ear fullness, which I also had a lot of problems with this last year is virtually gone as well.

      Another interesting note is that all these improvements (except for the hearing of course) seem to be retained even after I take out the hearing aids! I haven't tested this for any longer stretch of time yet, only when going to bed basically, but I will eventually try to not use them for a longer period just to see what happens, once I buy these hearing aids at the end of January.

      All and all, I'm very happily surprised by how well this experiment has gone and I would encourage anyone with any type of hearing disabilities to at least try hearing aids and see if anything improves.

      IMG_0335.jpeg
       
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    8. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      I'm overjoyed for you. This is such a superb update, especially as you're a 'long-termer' like me, and more than familiar with the ups and downs of chronic tinnitus.

      My audiologist said that my hearing loss, which she described as "classic" noise-induced (I'll post a copy of the audiogram for reference when I can find it) is not bad enough to warrant hearing aids just yet. Given the amazing hyperacusis relief you're experiencing, however, perhaps the added gain lift at those higher frequencies has helped desensitize your ears somewhat.

      Anyhows... onwards and upwards. May the improvements you've had compound and continue. Proper chuffed for you, man.
       
    9. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @Johan001, I have just seen your post. Carry on using your hearing aids as you have been doing. As time passes your tinnitus will continue to improve.

      Best of luck,
      Michael
       
    10. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thanks @Michael Leigh! I recently found that when I have unbearable moments I just need to use the in-built sound therapy (if I’m outside). It’s now been over two weeks and I only used the therapy setting twice, so my overall experience with the device has definitely been rather positive.
       
    11. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      That is good news @Johan001. The only thing I advise is to try and be constant whatever sound therapy you are using. For example, when I was wearing white noise generators to treat the tinnitus and hyperacusis, I wore them for up to 10 hours a day. When retiring to bed I used a sound machine throughout the night until morning. My hearing therapist advised me to use the white noise generators this way, in accordance with Pawel Jastreboff's TRT protocol, as written in his book which I have.

      I realize your circumstances are slightly different since you have hearing loss, but advise you try to adopt some consistency that your ears and auditory system will get used to.

      Michael
       
    12. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Thanks Michael. My default programme now is using the hearing aid throughout the day and sound therapy (cricket sounds) at nights and when at home to give my ear canals some rest. I absolutely don't like using the masking functionality, so it's only for emergencies so to speak. Gives me a sense of security outside that I can ways fall back on it if needed...
       
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    13. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      audiogram.jpg
       
    14. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      My overall 2 week update:

      - hearing aid with sound amplification helps reduce the severity of the ringing by roughly 15-20 percent. No big magic here but every degree of reduction is welcome.

      - psychologically, I panic less when I’m outside, so I can go longer distances. I even think and hope to be able to travel with it at some point.

      - I have more days when the tinnitus is less loud, even when not wearing the hearing aid.
       
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    15. star-affinity
      Wishful

      star-affinity Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure about the first. Too many beers? Music during sleep.
      @Philip83, thank you (and everyone else) for sharing your experience using hearing aids! Really great to read they work so well for you. :)

      A few things I'm thinking about from all of this:

      1.
      Very interesting to read that a dip after 4000 Hz is ”classic” – that's exactly what I have too on my left ear (but a little on my right too) since my latest most intrusive tinnitus got triggered at the end of April last year. Do we have any idea why that is a common type of hearing loss? Are the hair cells and/or synapses responsible for those frequencies more sensitive than others or does the world we live in consist of louder and/or more common sounds around these frequencies? Worthy of research to find out I think! :)

      2.
      
That ”fullness” you're speaking of; I have it too in my left ear (or perhaps more kind of a ”dampened” feeling in the ear) still after eight months since onset. Is that something what will go away or is it the hearing loss I'm feeling/hearing? I think it's weird that you would ”feel” that the ear has some hearing loss and not just hear it, but maybe that's the way it is? Or perhaps there's more going on with my ear than just the tinnitus and hearing loss... o_O
      3.
      That’s very interesting to read. My left ear is not too far of from the right audiogram you posted above. And I remember I got ”mixed messages” from one of the ENT doctors I’ve seen compared to the audiologist I’ve been in contact with.

      After I had my tinnitus onset in my left ear in April last year I three days after did an audiogram and the ENT said ”did you got exposed to a loud bang or something during military service or something?” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about, but he meant the dip I have after 4000 Hz on my left hear. I said no – that is likely something that happened happened in conjunction with my latest tinnitus onset (three days before the audiogram) which got triggered during night when I was listening to music to mask my other tinnitus sounds (heard a ”warped chirp” for a couple of seconds and then the new high pitch tinnitus sound emerged in my left ear).

      Six months later when I do another audiogram with the audiologist (more or less same result) she says the audiogram does not look like a typical acoustic trauma.

      The only thing that I think is ”special” about my hearing loss and tinnitus on my left ear is that it wasn’t triggered by sound levels that are considered harmful, but rather it’s a long term sound (music) exposure that (in combination with some headphone use on moderate level a few days before) that triggered it in my case.

      Anyway, I wonder why the ENT’s and the audiologist’s view differ there?

      Attaching my latest audiogram:

      Audiogram.jpg
       
    16. UKBloke

      UKBloke Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1991
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Music / family history
      The right audiogram I posted is my left ear so it looks like we both share a similar drop-off around those frequencies in our left ears. Do you notice tinnitus louder or more intrusive in a particular ear, or is it relatively bi-lateral? The tinnitus for me is definitely more intrusive in my left ear, which does seem to correlate with the audiogram result (even though we hear the phrase 'correlation is not causation' a lot on these forums).

      That particular audiogram of mine was from April last year so quite a while ago. If I remember rightly, the audiologist was referring to the notch @ 4 kHz in my right ear when she spoke about 'classic' noise-induced hearing loss. Overall, she didn't seem particularly concerned about the rest of the audiogram, which I gather also accounted for my age (54). It's curious that your ENT and audiologist were not in agreement, however. If I had to speculate I'd go with your audiologist and say that on this occasion their observation was likely the correct one.
       
    17. star-affinity
      Wishful

      star-affinity Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1993, increase in 2020, then new in 2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure about the first. Too many beers? Music during sleep.
      Thanks for the update @UKBloke.

      I’m turning 44 in August this year and have three tinnitus sounds in total, but they all have different characteristics.

      One ”chopped up, semi-high pitched tone” in my right ear (this one I sometimes perceive as totally gone – it comes and goes, but is mostly on nowadays, just not heard unless in a quiet place).

      There's also a hum/drone that more seem to come from the left half side of my head, but I know it has some relation to the left ear since if I "pump" the Tragus (cartilage "lid" next to the ear canal) a few times to build up a vaccum in the ear, and then release, I can make the hum go away for a few seconds (I don't do that anymore). This tinnitus is also not much of a problem during the day and only heard in some quiet rooms – it gets "removed" from my perception by white noise such as a fan or very consistently by this sound played even at a really low sound volume:

      Starship Sleeping Quarters | Sleep Sounds...


      The high pitch one in my left ear is the most recent (about eight months old) and intrusive. I do think it correlates with the audiogram – that’s because I could hear the tinnitus onset happening and also that songs I was listening to the day before onset sounded more flat and dull in the higher frequencies (cymbals and hi-hats) just a couple of days after onset (when I dared to carefully listen to some music again). So it seems clear to me my hearing loss happened (at least some of it) in conjunction with the tinnitus onset in my left ear.

      I'm hoping the hearing aids I well get to try next month (according to my audiologist) will help with the left ear high-pitch tinnitus (sounds quite similar to the "electrical noise" heard when charging an electric car) and if the music gets to sound closer to how I remember it then that would be a very appreciated bonus.
       
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    18. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      When I put the hearing aid in my bad ear (tinnitus and hearing loss), my good ear gets muffled a bit, especially if the sound amplification is at the max. When I reduce the sound amplification, the good ear gets unmuffled at some point where it gets into equilibrium with the bad ear.

      This confirms my thoughts that a muffled ear can be an indicator that it hears less well than the other one. Due to hearing loss for example.
       
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