Hello, and a Question About Affording Hearing Aids for Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Seth4kHz, Oct 16, 2019.

    1. Seth4kHz

      Seth4kHz Member

      Location:
      Portland, OR
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss
      Hello Tinnitus Talk community! I'm 47 with constant tinnitus since 11/2018. I learned of this excellent resource via the podcast. I'm very grateful these resources and community exist to help new initiates enter the daunting, confusing -- and frankly the scientist in me finds somewhat fascinating -- world of tinnitus research, advocacy, and outreach.

      I also have a specific question I hope people can provide input on. After recently seeing an audiologist and ENT, I discovered that I have mild to moderate hearing loss in both ears, and hearing aids were recommended. The hearing loss is also probably a cause of the tinnitus (or cause #1 of 2 according to Dr. Rauschecker's model). I was given a pair to demo and refreshingly, they reduced the tinnitus quite a lot. This particular hearing aid (Widex Evoke 330) also has the "Zen" technology which can provide a background static noise for masking the tinnitus when the ringing is really loud. HOWEVER.... the hearing aids are very expensive. With a discount through my insurance they are $3,450 USD for the pair!

      So my question is, are there any creative solutions for affordable high-quality hearing aids using other means? Such as purchasing them in Europe, or assistance programs (I am not poor, but also not rich)? I know another brand can be bought at Costco but I'm interested in the advanced technology than can be tuned by my audiologist, as well as the tinnitus masking feature.

      Any help is appreciated, and thanks again for the support offered by this community!

      Seth
      (Tinnitus with peaks at 4 and 6 kHz)
       
    2. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      ?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ?
      Welcome to the forum @Seth4kHz.

      I only know about the Audicus online hearing aids. I have both the Dia and Clara models. There are many options on the Clara.
       
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    3. Cape crusader
      Cool

      Cape crusader Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/18/18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction ear wax removal
      I have Widex Evoke. Bite the bullet and get these. Saving a few bucks on something that will help your hearing and help cope with tinnitus is not worth it.
       
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    4. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      ?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ?
      Most audiologists have a 200-300% markup on their hearing aids. Some people swear by different brands. Audicus has good service and comparable HA’s as far as I know.
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Seth4kHz

      Seth4kHz Member

      Location:
      Portland, OR
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss
      Thanks all for the info, good advice, and leads on affordable HAs. I looked into the Audicus model and options required to make them comparable to Widex Evoke and it results in a savings of $700. However, that's with only a 2-year warranty (vs. 3-year for Widex) and without the in-person fitting and follow-ups with my audiologist that I'd get with Widex. Overall I conclude Audicus is a bit cheaper, but Widex is a better value overall, given the extra benefits.
       
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    6. just1morething
      Benevolent

      just1morething Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      ?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ?
      Most audiologists have a $300 dispensing fee to just trial their hearing aids. I just know Starkey RIC HAs were more than twice the price of comparable Audicus ones. I suppose the markup is dependent on the audiologist. I have all the bells & whistles on the Clara but just a remote on the Dia.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Seth4kHz

      Seth4kHz Member

      Location:
      Portland, OR
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hearing loss
      Hi all, I'm not "new" on here exactly, but haven't posted for many months. I'm coming up on 2 years with tinnitus and to some extent I'm mitigating/coping, but to be honest it still sucks.

      Someone DM'd me and asked a question, and I thought I'd summarize part of our convo in case it helps anyone else or offers any insight. I realize everyone's tinnitus is different so I'm not saying what worked for me will work for others. Take it for what it's worth (probably not much).

      1. I started with interest in CBT, but many (esp. infamous @JohnAdams) dissuaded me, as they deemed it pseudoscience and actually misleading/counterproductive as it doesn't address the root cause. Not sure if I *totally* agree and it might work for some. But, I didn't go that route.

      2. Next I went for Turmeric (Curcumin) + Piperine to increase bio-availability. It went "OK" I guess. I thought I noticed a slight improvement, or thought I noticed anyway (I have no objective way to know, really). Anyhow if it worked at all, it was was very subtle, and it could have been a placebo effect. Some people swear by it but they've said they take handfuls of the stuff, so much their socks turn yellow. Unfortunately I don't recall the dose I tried.

      3. I ended up getting high quality hearing aids and working with an audiologist and the tinnitus is way better now, a much more noticeable improvement than supplements. A major cause of my tinnitus was hearing loss. The hearing aids help recover the high frequency signals my brain would otherwise get with normal hearing, which effectively cuts off the feedback loop (or at least this is how I explain it to myself, I'm not a neuroscientist). It only works while I'm wearing them, though, so I still have the tinnitus at night which is annoying. (I should go back to trying Turmeric + Piperine at night.) For me it helped to work with my audiologist with experience with tinnitus and was willing to have many back-and-forths getting the settings just right. I have a small notch of hearing loss at 600 Hz and a larger one (60 dB) at 4 kHz. Audiologist matched the frequency of my tinnitus to 4 kHz, go figure! Timing of tinnitus volume reduction depends on the day, hydration, did I have a glass of red wine too late last night, etc. Sometimes nearly immediately, other times after an hour so, and some days it doesn't work at all. The hearing aids (Widex brand) also have a "zen" mode that plays a static white noise (or other fractal sounds to choose from) to mask the tinnitus if it's still there.

      Anyhow, as I said, not offering advice just stating my personal experience in case it resonates with anyone. I hope you're all finding productive ways to deal with/reduce/cope/or even be rid of this nasty affliction. Peace to all and may 2020 not hit itself in the arse on the way out. -SW
       
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    8. Elmer B Fuddled

      Elmer B Fuddled Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      plugged nasal eustachian tube
      I have hearing loss from ear infection. Hearing aids were suggested. I'm in Ireland and after 3 hearing tests with results being the same I purchased the hearing aids at the cost of €2000 EUR. They have a tinnitus app for masking and it works very well. It's not the cost, it's the hearing that's important and here's the first and utmost to consider: you get what you pay for.
       
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    9. David Y

      David Y Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, but probably an inner ear infection
      Costco. $1500 for my KS-9 hearing aids, 6 month return policy.

      They are flat out better than the Widex Evoke which I paid $7,200.00 for, but returned after trying the Costco hearing aids.

      The reason Costco is so inexpensive is because they don’t work off of commission.
       
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