Hearing Aids

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

    1. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Yes with could I bear yet another withering 'you're taking too much of my time up' stare from my doctor?

      Ok, I will risk his frostiness. Thanks for the info.

      Actually, what I'm REALLY looking for is an audiologist who can test above 8khz. Cant find anyone. There are aid that go to 12khz so there should be audiologists who can test at least that high.
       
    2. david c

      david c Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2012
      On the subject of what you can get out of the NHS (UK) I agree that rationing is very common. I managed to get two white noise generators to go in the ear out of my audiology department but I had to kick up quite a fuss. To be honest I can't say that they have been of any help. I find a sound machine more helpful but had to buy this privately.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      So they were In the ear, occluding the ear canal? Shows you how much they know about tinnitus then as occluding the ear canal is the worst thing you can do. but, they wont spring for the 'over the ear' ones.
       
    4. david c

      david c Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2012
      Actually just to clarify they are behind the ear (with part going within the ear) rather than the all-in-the ear type. Didn't find them any use though - stick with the sound machine.
       
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Ah, so at least you got the right ones. I was given one inside the ear one. I gracefully declined it :)
       
    6. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I can't find one in Finland either. Up to 8kHz seems to be the norm which makes sense as it does cover the speech frequencies, but I'd like to test higher.

      A bummer.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Yeah, I know. It makes sense for ordinary hearing but not for T. For T we need tests and aids that go up to the highest its possible to hear (I think thats around 22khz?). We can then give back to the brain all the missing sound and maybe be........ CURED! (Sort of) :)
       
    8. click
      Blah

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      Karl... not sure if this the USA/England... tomatoes/tomatoes, elevators/lifts thing but I haven't a clue what the 'forced air' is.... help me understand pleeease :confused:

      My morning T is there the moment I wake up - even before I open my eyes.. and it's there if I wake up momentarily during the night.
       
    9. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Karl,

      Congrats on your tinnitus suppression. When I first tried WidexZen, it worsened my T and I freaked out. Had I used them for longer, however, I'm sure they would've suppressed it. I'm only on day 3 of Starkey Xino (another tinnitus hearing aid), and this is the first day I've been almost T free. (The first two days were really bad as the T spiked.) Anyway, unlike the Zen, the Xino just plays white noise tailored to your T. I like that better than the Zen tones as latter seemed to evoke a little hyperacusis (which I didn't even know I had.) That being said, the Xino are so cheap next to the Zen. They are NOT bluetooth and rely on a little button on the end of the hearing aid for switching, which is quite tempermental. And they have a lot of other quirks that just aren't worthy of a $4K price tag.

      Also, did your audiologist program the hearing aid for frequency transposition? (This is where your fricatives sound hissy.)

      I see that you got a cheaper Zen model. What is it? How does it differ from the other Zen model? I'm meeting with my audiologist next week and thinking of switching back to the Zen.

      One last thing: Are you afraid of radiation? I'm not a huge fan of putting bluetooth next to my skull for 16 hours a day. I think long-term it might cause illness. Do you know anything about the emissions on a bluetooth hearing aid compared with the traditional ones?

      Congrats again on your good luck!
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Almost T-free Jazz!! Good news! Those Starkey Xino's are the one's that my (very good) Hearing Therapist said he would choose for T. Why would you want to go back to the Zens if you are getting almost T free days?

      Could you tell me a few things Jazz.......
      - do they suppress the T as soon as you put them on?
      - what degree of hearing loss do you have?
      - is the Zen noise programmable to tailor it to your T like the Xinos are?
      - do you have Frequency Transposition turned on? (on those aids is this the feature by which the aid will slide a noise at a frequency you have a loss down to a frequency where you dont have a loss?)

      Like you, I dont like the though of Bluetooth on the head.

      Thanks!
       
    11. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Hi Louise,

      I reviewed what I liked and didn't like about the Starkey Xino compared with the Widex Zen. It's in the post "NuEar," which begins with a video on the Xino. I would add that another quirk in the Starkey--and not in the Zen--is the tube that goes into your ear. Sometimes when my tinnitus noise is playing, it will stop and I'll have to take the tube and reposition it. I feel like the tube is an antenna that's lost it's channel, but I don't believe this is how hearing aids operate. I'll ask my audiologist.

      In general, I do like the Xino, but there are design deficiencies that create unnecessary difficulties. And I am afraid of long term exposure to bluetooth. But the Zen were just so easy to operate as opposed to the manual "tapping" of the BTE piece that Xino requires. On the other hand, the Zen sounds do not agree with everyone, but Xino's white noise is very peaceful, just like a whisper. Anyway, I go into detail in that other post. Here's the link: https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/nuear-tinnitus-how-it-works-video.990/#post-9850

      Regarding your questions:

      1) My T is quiet in the morning, even after it's spiked so I can't answer that.
      2) My hearing loss is minor. My threshold is 30db across three spectrums: 4, 5, 6 hz. The loss is somewhat uniform between ears, though slightly worse in the left. But my T is only in my left ear/hemisphere. The audiologist noted I might've always had minor hearing loss at those frequencies, but when I popped my ears last summer I slightly worsened it. (My hearing aids are bilateral; apparently, this is the approved method for tinnitus since the brain communicates with both hemispheres.)
      3) The Zen noise is programmable. They have many tones, and they have a white noise which is generic, though it can be adjusted from broad band to narrow band sounds. The white noise is not pleasant, in my experience, but I didn't have the audiologist work with it. She only focused on the Zen tones.
      4) I had the Frequency Transposition turned on. There are at least two settings, and I had it at the lowest. (If I recall, the higher setting gives better results, according to that study we recently read.) The transposition setting makes "f" and especially "s" sound hissy, especially when you're speaking.

      Starkey is competing with Widex in frequency transposition. Starkey's program is called Spectral IQ. I have the feature turned on in my Xino, but, like the Zen, it's on the lowest setting. Later, I'll crank it up, but the transposition sound requires time for acclimation. If you go for a fitting with either Widex or Starkey, repeat the phrase "Sarah sells seashells by the seashore" with the frequency transposition turned on.

      Here is the Spectral IQ webpage: http://www.spectraliq.com/

      The Xino's white noise is based on your audiogram; from that profile, you are able to tailor the sounds to maximize masking or relief. I do not think the Zen tones are based on your audiogram--but I could be wrong. I will ask my audiologist Friday when I go for an adjustment.

      As you know, hearing aids ameliorate tinnitus by enhancing background sounds and addressing your specific hearing deficiencies. Since my hearing deficiencies are minor, I need the hearing aid to return whatever sounds were lost when I injured my ear (hence, the frequency transposition). Enhancing background noise does not help my tinnitus. In fact, my hearing aid is on the lowest setting and I don't like it. Everything sounds too loud. (Even running the water is now loud!) But I'll get used to my new "loud" world, though I am removing the hearing aids whenever the noise cranks up--such as in restaurants, etc.

      I hope this is helpful. You need a month--at least--before you know if the hearing aids are working. Since my tinnitus fluctuates so much, I'm keeping track of any spikes I have for the next 30 days. So far, I'm on day two of no spikes, though the T is slightly louder than yesterday.
       
    12. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Hi Jazz.
      It is difficult to say how much my tinnitus is "suppressed". My right ear, which has hearing loss, has almost no tinnitus when I wear the hearing aids.

      My left ear, which has very little hearing loss, still has a buzz. The hearing aids don't seem to be helping my left ear. I'm considering returning the left hearing aid. I think I am having "somatosounds" in my left ear, which are kind of different than tinnitus. I think these outer hairs cells are preparing to "kick the bucket", crying out their last gasps as I age. I hope these little buggers get on with it and die, so that my ears are balanced in hearing loss.

      The hearing aid that I purchased is the Widex Dream series. These are designed for people with slight to mild hearing loss, which is why they are cheaper. I believe they Widex is trying to make hearing aids more affordable.

      About radiation: I've never thought about that. My audiologist used the Bluetooth connection only when I was in her office. I doubt that the Widex hearing aids transmit signals, but only receive them. If so, EMF is not a concern. They are really, really small.

      My biggest complaint I had when I first used them was they were too loud. This was over-stimulating, making me very tired. I was totally wiped-out those first few days. I've adjusted the volume, and it's been much better since.

      That said, it's an adjustment, for sure. Not a total cure, but a significant help. These things are definitely helping my right ear.

      I'm sort of rambling but, they say tinnitus is like phantom limb syndrome. Once hearing diminishes in one ear, the auditory system becomes imbalanced. Many people believe that this imbalance is the cause of tinnitus. For that reason, hearing aid made sense to me. Logically I get it, but in reality, it is not a total cure. Perhaps it's the best fix I can have, though.
       
    13. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Karl,

      Thanks for your insight!

      That the "good ear" still has a buzz, and the "bad ear" is suppressed is interesting; it is counterintuitive and challenges the hypothesis that hearing loss is the root of tinnitus. Of course, I know some people have no hearing loss and tinnitus, but some research suggests these individuals have a hidden hearing loss. Hearing loss is not an all-or-nothing game. It can be subtle and difficult to measure. (e.g., http://www.tinnitusresearch.org/en/...usResearchArticleSeries_forTRI_4_Schaette.pdf)

      BTW, did your audiologist enable the frequency transposition feature, ie the Audibility Extender? This feature is what separates hearing aids from Widex and Starkey from your average hearing aid, which, while helpful, may not affect neuroplasticity?

      Regarding somatosounds, are they continuous? I thought they were periodic. A few times a day I get a piercing, transitory sound in my right ear, which is otherwise tinnitus free. The sound never lasts for more than a few seconds; as a result, I consider that ear tinnitus free. Perhaps, I am deluding myself!

      Of course, you're correct to compare tinnitus to the "phantom limb syndrome." It is why people like MicroTransponder are targeting the vagus nerve for tinnitus and chronic pain. (e.g., http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2010/03/01/story8.html?page=all) Both are symptoms, rather than a disease, of a nervous system where the periphery has been disconnected from the center. (So to speak in very unscientific terms.)

      About cures, yes, researchers are now acknowledging that "magic bullets" for tinnitus probably do not exit. It is a complex disease and requires a multi-modality treatment protocol, individualized to tinnitus type and whether or not it has centralized.

      On bluetooth, I didn't know about the difference between sending and receiving a signal. Thanks!

      One more thing: You don't know if you will continue to improve. You're trying to re-wire the maladaptive neuroplasticity that initially caused the tinnitus. I'd use both aids for as long as possible in your trial period. I know these hearing aids are obscenely expensive, but they are our best chance for some relief that might tackle the root of our tinnitus. A partial answer, but an answer nonetheless!
       
    14. mick

      mick Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      I can't remember for sure which brand/model it was, but I know one of the models I looked at used Bluetooth to keep the tinnitus masking tones synchronized in both ears. I vaguely remember that it was the Zen. Anyway, I dropped which ever one it was to the bottom of the list because I didn't want to be subjected to radiation even though I recognize I'm probably exposed to more radiation from cell phone and wireless networks everyday.
       
    15. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Jazz -
      Thanks for all your comments. Let's see if I can give you my ideas on your thoughts.

      I'm not so sure if it is counterintuitive. I think that most people who get tinnitus in one ear, get it in the other ear shortly after.

      Here's my reasoning why this happens: There are two sets of efferent nerves that lead back to the cochlea: One set of efferent nerves leads back to the outer hair cells; another set of efferent nerves leads back to the inner hair cells. The purpose of efferent nerves back to the outer hair cells (OHC) is to control the volume of sound.

      The outer hair cells are able to amplify a frequency by swishing around in the cochlea's fluid. If the brain needs a frequency amplified, it sends a signal back to the OHC's to start swishing, to make the frequency louder.

      I think that when my bad ear got tinnitus, I started hearing "eeeeeeeee" on one side. But the good ear didn't hear the tinnitus "eeeeee", so the brain sent a signal to the OHC to "crank up the volume". I think that this is very common, that tinnitus starts in one ear, then goes to the other ear. It's a compensation for an imbalance that starts it off.

      It seems to be a logical cycle:
      Hearing loss in one ear -> Brain sends efferent signal to inner hair cells of one ear to increase sound -> The signal/voltage from the efferent nerve is interpreted as the tinnitus "sound" .
      Other good ear doesn't hear the tinnitus "sound" -> Brain sends efferent signal to the OHC of good ear to increase sound -> OHC's swish things around to increase sound -> We hear "buzz" of somatosound, due to this swishing.

      You must be having the same experience that I have. My "somatosound" is not continuous. Mine is set off by the sound of the TV or our heating system or the train. I don't quite get it, but my somatosound "beats" with other sounds.

      I also get the piercing, transistory sounds. It sounds like a bottle rocket going off. I think they call this an "autoacoustic emmission". My gut feeling is the OHC's are dying off (so they have a little party with fireworks).

      The possible good news is, if our ears become more "balanced" in hearing loss, then there is no longer an imbalance that causes tinnitus. Many people with bad hearing do not have tinnitus, I think because the loss is more or less the same in both ears. Just another one of my theories about tinnitus.

      Excellent points. I think that my "good" ear that has somatosounds will catch up to my bad ear. It would seem that I'll be more balanced and better off someday. Or not. Got to look on the postive side!

      I don't like the idea of returning the left hearing aid. My wife and I are sort of frugal, and she's always reminding me about the return date. I will see my audiologist on Wednesday, will talk to her about this.

      Yes, I agree with your idea about neuroplasticity. According to Jastreboff and Hazell, the conscience brain can learn to ignore tinnitus, so that it's no longer a concern in our conscience thoughts. My audiologist has had tinnitus for a long time. She says that it's our reaction that causes the problem, which is something we can learn to control.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    16. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Great information, Karl! :) More ideas to consider.....
       
    17. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Indeed, Karl!

      The survey results so far suggest that those people whose tinnitus started in one ear, it has gone to the other one too!

      Not surprisingly you described this in words that everybody can understand. Thank you!
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hi Jazz, thanks for the replies.

      Something I dont get though, you said it was Day 3 of the Xtino and its the first time you were tinnitus free, so that would suggest they work better than anything. Why would you then consider the Zen in place of the Xtinos which are giving you 'almost T-free days'?

      2) Your hearing loss sounds similar to mine. You mention the aids being bilateral is the approved way, and it is. They ahve to be bilateral. If not you risk making the T worse in the ear that does not have the aid. This is what happened to me with the Soundcure when I only used it in the T ear. I got T in the other ear after one month of doing that.

      About frequency transposition..... this is something I really dont get... we are trying to give the brain back sound at the frequency which is now missing because of the hearing loss. Thats how we can eventually get the auditory cortex to reorganise back to 'listening' to frequencies previously lost. But if the frequency Transition is turned on then the brain is never going to hear those frequencies as the transposition slides them down to another frequency where you have no hearing loss. How does this help T? A very good hearing Therapist I spoke to said this should be turned off for T. I can understand having it turned on for people who need to hear better in general but not for T people who are using the aids only to help T. You said "I need the hearing aid to return whatever sounds were lost when I injured my ear (hence, the frequency transposition)." But with frequency transpositino turned ON then the aids arent returning those lost frequencies are they, they are in fact turning them into a different frequency where you can already hear better. Am I not understanding something correctly?
      There's more to this too... there's a theory that on the edge of the hearing loss, those hairs turn towards the nearest frequency that hasnt been damaged and this is why we get hyperacusis. I think this is called Recruitment. So if the aids are also transposing the missing frequency to this nearest frequency without loss and this frequency is already getting more input due to recruitment then this frequency is going to be really loud! No wonder the lisping.

      Is your audiologist knowledgeable about tinnitus Jazz?

      Thanks for the links I'll read these tomorrow.
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Karl, any self-respecting audiologist, especially one who understands T, will tell you that you need both aids! They need to be bilateral. You will end up with worse T in the other ear where there is no aid otherwise. Its just a known thing. My good Hearing Therapist, (I say 'good' to differentiate him from the other rubbish ones Ive seen), says they have to be bilateral and he also said that tinnitus is a 'central perception'. I think that's why it can suddenly appear in the other ear. Dont ask me to explain!!
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      The scientific thinking about T noise in the Jastreboff model is that the brain detects a loss of sensory input (deafferentation) from the ear and so removes filters and makes it super-sensitive in the area of the hearing loss so that we can hear better there. But this also results in us being able to hear the inner workings of the ear/brain as well. And that this is the T sound. Thats what Ive read and been told be the experts in T. Doesnt anyone here support that view?
       
    21. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Hi Louise,

      Thanks for your informative questions and answers!

      My only problem with the Xino is its implementation. The hearing aids work by tapping; but correct tapping is hard to achieve. After five days, however, I am becoming proficient at the tapping protocols. And so I am now more likely to keep the Xinos. I really didn't like the Zen noises, and I am still not that comfortable with radiation--though Karl did help me be less fearful.

      I'm returning to my audiologist on Monday, and I will specifically address frequency transposition, and how it might compensate for lost hearing. Regarding the Spectral IQ link cited above, it looks like Starkey's algorithm is different than Widex and, Starkey argues, enables for clear speech. I can't tell; both sound "hissy" to me. Like you suggest, this might be recruitment.

      And thanks for the information on recruitment! I didn't know about the phenomenon, but it explains why certain sounds are now too loud. I need an adjustment on my hearing aids. Again, another issue I will raise with my audiologist.

      My audiologist is an expert in tinnitus. She actually wants to help you; she finds it rewarding, and is interested in all the new technologies for tinnitus relief--current and in the pipeline. When asked about why most audiologists don't offer tinnitus services, she said audiology programs don't emphasize it, and most practitioners consider it a pain. (Isn't this nice! Another reason why tinnitus receives such little attention.) She also noted doctors get about five minutes on the topic. This makes sense. I saw three physicians, and all were bored by my tinnitus. I was told that tinnitus "wasn't that bad" by one; another said I must "learn to habituate;" and a third just looked at my chart and said nonchalantly, "I can't help you." And two of these docs were neurootologists! I'm not a negative person, but if I needed a cochlear implant, they all would've loved to help me.

      So I'll get back to you next week on the abovementioned issues!

      BTW, how are you doing? I read recently you were trying a benzo, but I forgot which one. Where you trying any other drugs? Is anything providing relief?
       
    22. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      "The scientific thinking about T noise in the Jastreboff model is that the brain detects a loss of sensory input (deafferentation) from the ear and so removes filters and makes it super-sensitive in the area of the hearing loss so that we can hear better there. But this also results in us being able to hear the inner workings of the ear/brain as well. And that this is the T sound. Thats what Ive read and been told be the experts in T. Doesnt anyone here support that view?"


      Louise,

      I've also heard about the filters. Jastreboff's model is important--critical, really--for habituation. But the abnormal noise is still there, even if you don't hear it. Most neuroscientists refer to a breakdown in "gating" mechanisms. That's because tinnitus is also a disease of brain networks--and this is where it gets complex. Besides the auditory cortex, there are several non-auditory networks implicated in tinnitus perception. You have your limbic system (the area where distress occurs), your prefrontal cortex (where higher thinking and working memory occur among other functions), and several other brain areas and networks. Combined, these networks result in the neural noise we call tinnitus. Because of these pathological hubs evidencing increased neural activity, it is difficult to find a single drug (i.e., "magic bullet) or a device (e.g., sound therapy) that will stop tinnitus--not just your perception of it. It's almost like a cancer that's distributed throughout your brain. I don't want to sound negative, but it's this complexity that creates so much difficulty. And it's not just tinnitus. All brain diseases exhibit comparable complexity. If it were just an ear--or a mechanical--problem, the solution would be much easier. That's why I'm so upset that doctors do nothing to prevent this disorder from migrating from your ear to your brain. Steroids, HBOT, AM-101--each of these is designed to prevent that migration. Once the migration occurs, the disease is usually chronic. You might habituate, but you won't stop the abnormal neural activity. At least, that's the current state of research. Hearing aids are great because they address part of the problem; but they can't re-wire your entire head. Just the auditory cortex.

      (Hearing aids might also facilitate habituation--that's my hope!)

      Here are two articles you might want to look at. They are conceptually dense, but even a non-scientist, like myself, can understand the main points:

      The Neuroscience of Tinnitus: Understanding Abnormal and Normal Auditory Perception


      Tinnitus: network pathophysiology-network pharmacology


       
    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hi Jazz,

      I'm glad you're thinking of sticking with the Xtinos because from your first post it sounded like you were getting a real effect from them. How strange that you have to tap them. Why have they made them like that? I guess its easier than fishing around for a button to turn?

      Its brilliant that you've managed to find an audiologist that is also expert in tinnitus. I think they are few and far between. And she also actively wants to help? My, you are lucky!! Yes, please do take up this questino of frequency transposition with her. My good Hearing Therapist advised me to have it turned off. I know that it can give clearer hearing but for us our actual hearing isnt really a problem. Also, do you remember that post of Erik's I think it was that talked about those aids (I forget which they were!!) that had an 80% success rate at suppressing T because of the transposition being a full octave. The important bit about those was it lowered the sound by an octave.

      Absolutely agree with you on the attitude of doctors & ENT etc. Its just too hard for them isnt it? They dont understand T and dont want to know.

      I am doing Ok, thanks very much for asking. I started a 'new' (to me) drug - Pregabalin (Lyrica). It works amazingly for anxiety and mood. It hasnt changed the noise though. I was disappointed by that at first but now Im starting to think that this is a good thing. If I can hear the noise without anxiety then habituation will follow!! That my theory anyway. Nay, that's my hope, my dream!! I ignore it whenever I can and I am a lot more interested in other things now. I'm going to give it a bit longer and then make a post on the Pregabalin thread I started to let people know about it. Oh, the main point about this drug too is that it is not supposed to build up a tolerance, so you dont need higher and higher doses :)
       
    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      What a wealth of information Jazz, thankyou!! I'm adding the reading of these to me to-do list.

      I posted something a while about tht talks of the Gating mechanism breakdown. It cites this as the possible reason why some people get hearing loss yet do not get T (the Gating stops them from hearing it). It also cites this gating mechanism as the reason why some peoples T fluctuates, that the gating works sometimes and sometimes not. I'm going to have to re-read the article because there might be ways of strengthening that gating.

      It is at least possible to reduce the over-sensitivity of the auditory pathways by reducing focus on the ears(!) and using aids to stop the hearing loss. That's got to help the filters go back on. I still think that if we got aids that addressed all hearing loss (including that higher than 8khz) that in time the brain would sort itself out again.

      Its quite depressing how so many areas of the brain are involved in this thing. I now prefer not the think about that!!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    25. carlover
      English

      carlover Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1986
      I thank the person/s who invented hearing aids ,otherwise my life would be Intolerable,really would.
       
    26. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012 worsened Jan 2017 & Dec 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I'm glad they work for you Pete. Wonder why I dont have any luck with them? My loss must be above 8khz too :(
       
    27. Blair

      Blair Member

      Location:
      Grants Pass, OR
      Tinnitus Since:
      11-2011
      Widex has three models of hearing aids. The less expensive model has five frequency areas for amplification, the mid-
      range has 10, and the high end has 15. My audiologist, along with the Widex rep, suggested I use the mid-range model
      and it works perfectly.
      My T came on suddenly, for no apparent or discernible reason, and increased in volume for the next two days. A quick trip to the doc, who in all honesty told me he really knew very little about T and got me into a ENT doc a couple
      of days later, got me some whoppers of sleeping pills to knock me out. The ENT ran all the tests and told me to see
      the T clinic at OHSU in Portland as there was nothing they could do for me.
      At OHSU they showed me what was happening to my brain, the pathways that were close looped, and the tinnitus
      frequencies that appeared right where my hearing loss began. The doctors also told me that I had one of the most
      severe cases that they had documented and they put me in a class with three other patients. They recommended
      an audiologist down in my area of southern Oregon and I was there in four days getting fitted with the Widex.
      Within minutes I found relief and my wife said that it looked like I had dropped 10 years of age from my face.
      The Zen is always on. I like it like that. I can have just audio amplification, amplification alone, or Zen with
      no amplification. I also have three other Zen programs that are up one level of pitch which I can switch on if the
      T seems to be overpowering. Some days I go all day long without "hearing" the T. Widex didn't cure me, but
      it gave me back my life.
      Things I learned at OHSU. Don't sleep in a quiet environment, you need some white noise to keep the T down.
      They had studies about babies sleeping deeper and longer as long as there was some white noise. We use a small fan.
      Stress is a killer. It can greatly boost your T, so out went the coffee, cigarettes, and off to the gym again. At night
      I take one mg of Xanax along with a couple of Bourbons and I get my eight hours and my Doc totally approves as
      he doesn't like the addictive nature of most of the sleeping meds.
       
    28. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Louise,

      I'm glad you're doing better. Lyrica is a good drug. When it first appeared on the market, it was used to treat fibromyalgia. Tinnitus follows the same pathways as nerve pain. The two are closely related so that drug seems like a good choice. I see it's also used for epilepsy. Lots of doctors prescribe epilepsy drugs because every person with tinnitus has an overactive brain. (Yeah, overactive but underperforming! At least, mine usually is!)

      So far, I'm still evaluating my hearing aids. But I like them. Later, I will also add some type of drug to calm the activity. Maybe Lyrica. So keep us posted!

      Will write later....
       
    29. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD

      Hi Blair,

      I'm so glad you're feeling better. Getting control of your life--even if the T is still there--is more than half of the battle. I am curious, however, about the frequency amplification and the Zen. My audiologist just told me she put it on the lowest settings; I had no idea there were so many options. When you state you have 10 frequency amplifications, do you know how they are programmed? Are they programmed to your audiogram and its hearing thresholds? Do you have the frequency transposition enabled--where your "s" sounds become "hissy" (for lack of a better term). I'm meeting with my audiologist Monday and I need her to explain fully about the frequency amplification.

      You also said that OSHU enabled you to see your tinnitus. What tests did they run on you? I'd love to be able to see how my brain reacts to its lost frequencies. Also, did insurance cover these tests? Where they expensive? You are so lucky you live in Oregon. Oregon and California are the centers of the tinnitus universe--at least, in the US. I live in the east, where the main focus is on hearing regeneration. And while hearing regeneration is a noble cause, most people with tinnitus need relief now, and not in 5 to 10 years.

      One last thing. When I took the Zen for a brief (7 day) test drive, I was given three fractal tones and one white noise. The white noise was not pleasant; it was harsh on the ears. I presumed the Zen's focus is really on the fractals. Is that true? The fractals irritated my ears; I thought they gave me a touch of hyperacusis.

      Right now, I'm evaluating the Starkey Xino, which is similar to the Zen but focuses on white noise. That makes it more like TRT. But I am still interested in the Zen. I want whatever will be more therapeutic for my T. But so far the Xino is working very well.

      Any information would be so greatly appreciated. And keep up the postings on your progress. We need more success stories!:)
       
    30. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Markku -
      These findings make sense to me. You've found yourself a potential AuD thesis.

      I view the logic of tinnitus as follows:

      1. One ear gets tinnitus, because it can't hear a (real) external sound. In response to the binaural imbalance, that ear gets an (internal) tinnitus sound from the brain to listen harder.

      2. But the other good ear doesn't hear the tinnitus sound. This becomes a new, but reversed, binaural imbalance. The good ear can't hear the tinnitus! In response, as the good ear tries to hear the tinnitus sound from the other ear, the good ear generates a somatosound to listen harder.

      I really wouldn't be surprised if people find that the "other" ear that gets tinnitus has good hearing.
       

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