Study: 81% of Test Subjects Benefit from New Long-Term Tinnitus Suppression Hearing Aid

Discussion in 'Research News' started by erik, Jan 18, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      A study recently published in the online journal PLOS ONE shows that among 74 subjects fitted with a linear octave frequency transposition (LOFT) hearing aid, 60 (81%) reported partial or complete tinnitus suppression during the day and night.
      Over the course of the 3-year period, the authors report that the effects continue after several months or years of daily use.
      Of the total 74 subjectsfitted, the authors obtained quantified measures of tinnitus suppression from 38 through visual analog scaling and several additional psychoacoustic and audiometric measures. For these subjects, the long-term suppression appears to be independent of age, duration of therapy, and subjective localization of tinnitus. A small but significant correlation was found with audiogram losses, but not with high frequency loss slope.
      Long-term tinnitus suppression was observed for different etiologies, but there appeared to be a low success rate for sudden deafness. A majority of tested subjects (23) had a history of noise exposure.
      Tinnitus suppression started after a few days of LOFT hearing aid use and reached a maximum effect after a few weeks of daily use. For nine subjects, different amounts of frequency shifting were tried and found to be “more or less successful” for long-term tinnitus suppression; however, no correlation was found with tinnitus pitch.
      When the use of the LOFT hearing aid was stopped, the authors report that the tinnitus reappeared within a day, but after re-using the LOFT hearing aid, the tinnitus disappeared again within a day.
      For about one third of the 38 subjects, a classical amplification or a non-linear frequency compression hearing aid was also tried, but no such tinnitus suppression was observed.
      The entire study is available for free on the PLOS ONE website. http://www.plosone.org/article/info...sessionid=3DC59D73E5B490CCC29AE0E87EB5A652#s2
       
      • Like Like x 1
    2. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Very interesting. Do you know what the different between LOFT hearing aids and normal ones are Erik?
       
    3. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Erik -
      Good find. Very impressive that tinnitus suppression can be achieved in 81% of cases.

      I was searching what "LOFT" means. Found a study by Widex in 2008. In Jastreboff and Hazell's book they mention how hearing aids can suppress tinnitus.

      Not sure if I'm quite ready for hearing aids, though.
       
    4. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      What? I would take any appendage to be rid of it - muzzle, Frankenstein bolts in the side of my neck, massive ear trumpets!

      They are tiny nowadays Karl, you cant even see them.
       
      • Funny Funny x 1
    5. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      81% is the best success rate of any treatment. Dichonics was claiming 76% success, ... before they stopped selling their product! When will that product ever reappear?

      Frankstein bolts! That reminds me of my original avatar on this site: Gene Wilder in "Young Frankenstein" (pronounced "schteen"), "It's alive! It's alive!".
       
    6. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
    7. carlover
      English

      carlover Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1986
      Ill say it again guys,I have slieght to moderate High Freq Hearing loss,although I wouldnt know it.

      Hearing aids (digital) give me a good 60-70% relief from this horrible noise.


      I put them in bedtime really helps.
       
    8. Aisling

      Aisling Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      18/9/12
      Do you guys think hearing aids help if you have no hearing loss?
       
    9. mock turtle

      mock turtle Member

      Location:
      puget sound
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/26/1992...habituated after 2 years; 11/04/11 new outbreak
      louise said ".... I would take any appendage to be rid of (tinnitus) - muzzle, Frankenstein bolts in the side of my neck, massive ear trumpets!"

      me two .....and..... id be willing to drag a ball and chain everywhere i went
       
    10. calin
      Inspired

      calin Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct 2011
      I enjoyed the sense of humor on this thread. Nice!
       
    11. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Great article!
       
    12. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Hi Pete, do you then listen to something with them in?

      I was told (by someone who really knows stuff) that if they dont have this effeect then it means you have hearling loss above 8khz. The aids I have dont have the desired affect so I guess I have > 8khz hearing loss. Or maybe they arent set up right (which I suspect).
       
    13. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Forgot something..... I also have slight to moderate hearing loss at high freq and I also wouldnt know it. Mines at 4khz (40db) and 6khz (25db).

      What make of aids are they?
       
    14. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Glad we gave you a laugh with what you are going through x
       
    15. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I cant see how they could Aisling. And when they set them there would be no measurements for the amplification as they are set to your hearing loss. This is only what I think. Sorry :(
       
    16. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
    17. carlover
      English

      carlover Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      1986
      I just wear NHS digital aids ,no masking.

      ........by the way (re uk) an audiologist told me there was nothing he could do with expensive privates thathe could not achieve with NHS Digitals.
       
    18. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      But when you put them in and its quiet do they still knock back the T noise? Even when you're not listening to anything?
       
    19. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      This has always made sense to me. There are many expert audiologists who make a convincing argument that this is the way to help people with tonal tinnitus.

      For most of us with tonal tinnitus, the "T" noise is a response to an imbalance between left and right. It's a signal back the ears to compensate for the differences in loudness for the same frequency. It makes sense if hearing aids balance the left and right ears, there is no imbalance, hence no tinntus.

      Even Jastreboff amd Hazell write that a whole lot of people get immediate suppression with the aids. However, when they take them out to sleep their tinnitus it comes back. Oh well. Suppose there is nothing wrong being the Bionic Man during the day.

      There are probably other types of tinnitus where this won't work. Somatosounds and neck related, TMJ related tinnitus usually don't have hearing loss. Perhaps they make up the other 19%.

      For me, my tinnitus is specifically where I have hearing loss. That's typically the case.
       
    20. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Mine isnt realy tonal I dont think. Its hard to say because its a strange noise, it goes up and down in pitch and is like darting sounds joined together. Maybe that's why the aids ive got dont help my T. Although I dont think Carlover's T is tonal either and his do help him.

      There's also this thing about if they dont help it may be because theres some loss higher than 8khz.
       
    21. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      Are these LOFT hearing aids actually available or are they still researching?

      If they're available - do we know where we can get them?
       
    22. Waldo Bracamontes

      Waldo Bracamontes Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Interesting, Louis. Do you have T in both ears? Is your a Hiss sound or Eeeeee'...or both?
       
    23. exodus
      Cold

      exodus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008
      i ve got the lady in france where the patient were followed ,she told me the study was done with widex ae devices (passion series) but with this loft settings
       
    24. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Thanks exodus, I'm on it...........
       
    25. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Hi Waldo,

      Its a bit of a story.... it started the day after the rock band incident in one ear only (my left). It was a pure-tone, probably a hum, maybe a 'Eeeee' but small. Then 9 weeks later I went to the theatre and the sound changed. It became some static and some darting high-pitched sound. I then went to HBO and breathed through an oxygen tube which I didnt realise was loud and against my good ear. Straight away I got something in my good ear. A few months later I got caught out in a restaurant (noisy christmas party on the next table and some piped music). That made the T in my original ear get louder and turn into streaking joined up darts of sound like a radio tuning in. Sliding up and down in frquency with a lot of movement to it. Also a week later I heard the righ ear start up proper, I heard it turn on, a high pitched hiss. This came an went and then turned into a high pitched Eeeee. So now in the left I have static and inside it a sort of high-pitched dentists drill going up and down and in the right I have a high-pitched constant Eeeee.

      bet you wish you'd never asked :)
       
    26. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      So, I'm not getting this.... the LOFT function is to move sounds which are at a frequency of your hearing loss down to a frequency where you CAN hear. As I understand it this goes against what's needed. In short we should be trying to give the brain back the sound that it has lost at the frequency of our hearing loss, hence the neurons will go back to listening to that and the cortex tonotopic map will be reorganised back to how it was pre-hearing loss. So we should be amplifying sound at our hearing loss frequency, not moving it down somewhere else.
       
    27. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Karl--I agree that balancing your hearing is a great method to lessen tinnitus perception. If the hearing aids alone do not abolish the signal, moreover, combining them with TRT would be desirable. That way, you are tackling the problem from two angles. This could be critical for many people since the tinnitus precept is generated in several brain regions, not just the auditory cortex. (I believe TRT is focused mainly on the limbic system, but correct me if I am wrong.)

      Louise--Here are some good links for NHS hearing aids. They even have some that look like jewelry. The links do not state if the NHS offers LOFT hearing aids, and so far I can't discover who makes them. (I must not be googling the right question.) Most articles, in addition, describe using an "open fit" for tinnitus amelioration. But does "open fit" pertain to LOFT hearing aids or traditional ones? Who knows?

      NHS links:

      http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/hearing-problems/Pages/hearing-aids.aspx

      http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/894.aspx?CategoryID=68&SubCategoryID=157

      http://www.21stcenturyhearing.com/hear-rings-hearrings-decorated-hearing-aids.shtml
       
    28. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Hi Jazz,

      Thanks for these. I already have NHS hearing aids (even though they didnt want to give me them as my hearing loss isnt great enough according to their guidelines. Shows they know zilch about treating tinnitus).

      Open fit means that they dont occlude the ear, (like earbuds do), they are behind the ear and have a little tube that goes from behind the ear into the ear so that the rest of the ear is 'open'.

      LOFT means that when the aid 'hears' sound at a certain frequency (the frequency of your hearing loss) it will change the sound to a lower frequency where you dont have a hearing loss so that you can hear it.

      LOFT isnt addressing the need to give back sound at a frequency where its been lost so I dont see how it helps. I'm thinking of that in terms of the neurons being tonotopically mapped to frequencies and hence when those frequencies can no longer be heard these neurons go mad and that's the tinnitus sound.

      Thats one of the theories (the one ANM works to). As we know there are several theories and models out there.
       
    29. 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 the information! You're correct about cortical remapping. The transposed frequencies should not be hitting the same areas. That said, I still like the idea of using hearing aids to replace the missing frequencies that result in tinnitus generation.

      The problem with tinnitus--one of the biggest--is a lack of testing consistency. If LOFT did somehow did remap the missing cortical sounds, then a MEG scan (or something similar) should demonstrate it. I liked the Dichonics study because he used MEG scans to evidence tinnitus reduction. (http://dichonics.com/about_us). The LOFT study used VAS (visual analog scales) and audiograms. I know these tests are important, but it would've been great to illustrate the results with before/after pictures.

      Still, the results from the LOFT hearing aids give hope! The results were impressive, even if I didn't understand the science behind them.
       
    30. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I dont think LOFT is new or ground-breaking?
      I had aids from the NHS a few months ago and by chance found out they had this function switched on that changed the frequency of sounds where I have a hearing loss down to frequencies where I dont have a loss. This is good for actual hearing but not for tonotopic remapping. This sounds like the function of LOFT to me. I got it turned off as I want to give my brain the frequencies it's lost.
       

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