The Relief of Hearing Aids — Even with 0 Hearing Loss

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Lynny, Aug 18, 2021.

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Do you use hearing aids?

  1. Yes, but exclusively for hearing loss

  2. Yes, for tinnitus masking

  3. Yes, both for hearing loss and tinnitus masking

  4. No, but I have considered them

  5. No, I haven't considered them

  6. No, I fear they might worsen my tinnitus

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    1. Lynny

      Lynny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, possibly stress
      (Disclaimer: I still have tinnitus, this is not a succes in terms of a literal cure)

      I'm hesitant to post this in success stories, as I know it's not always appreciated when the success does not entail a physical improvement or the disappearance of the tinnitus itself. But for me not being suicidal anymore and having hope for a future that is barely impacted by tinnitus is a major and unforeseen success!

      Some background information:
      I've been struggling with life-changing tinnitus since the end of 2018, so almost three years now. I don't like to get into how it impacted me because as most of you know it can be a very traumatic experience. All I can say is I dropped everything, stopped studying, stopped leaving the house, stopped brushing my teeth. Everything. I feel like my status updates over the past years are representative of my mental state then. It's hard to even look at my history on this website. I've considered deleting everything many times, but that would feel like being dishonest. I am not going to express shame about being someone who has suffered. I am proud of how far I've come and I have immense respect for anyone with the strength and will to continue living with this terrible affliction.

      My type of tinnitus is very painful to listen to (which I know is unfortunately the case for many sufferers). A bunch of different frequencies and tones of dentist-drill quality. I was stuck in the infamous fight/flight response cycle, with no relief. Like many of you, I did not sleep for a full week. After this I received sleeping medication (benzos) which I became very dependent on. Aside from that I started drinking.

      I was diagnosed with several mental disorders instead of tinnitus. The ringing in my ears was seen as a side effect of psychosis and severe OCD (i.e. 'hearing things'). The physical illness itself wasn't looked at. This messed me up pretty bad, I was convinced I was going crazy. It got so bad I stopped eating and drinking. In November 2020 I went through the progress of applying for euthanasia.

      Then as a last resort I turnt to masking full-time, which I believe pretty much saved my life. Once I gave myself permission to use my headphones during the day, I started tapering off of the drugs and alcohol and slowly regained some parts of my life back. For almost two years (!) I have been consistently wearing earphones for around 10 hours every day. At VERY LOW volume levels. Just the slight distraction from my own sounds was such a relief.

      My tinnitus hasn't gone anywhere and I am still dependent (on masking), but it's better than the alternative. I gave up a lot, but I view this life as the opposite of the death I would've chosen and not the opposite of the life I might have lived (if I never got tinnitus). This mindset has helped a lot.

      Fast forward to today: I'm sitting in the office of my audiologist, amazed. I took a video for my mom, she wanted to see the progress of getting them fitted. Here's a screenshot:

      upload_2021-8-18_20-13-42.jpeg
      I asked my audiologist if he could hear my masking sounds (it sounded very 'real' to me) He shook his head. I didn't expect to feel so relieved.

      I've put off getting hearing aids because of the financial cost, but also (I think, looking back) as a form of denial. I always told myself 'this is just temporary'... but it's not. And I have to deal with that. I have to allow myself to accept my situation and be as comfortable as I can be. I can recommend this philosophy to everyone!

      Starting now I will not have to be reminded of my 'disability' whenever I go out, I won't have to dodge questions about my use of earphones (and with that, one of the most terrible times in my life!) in public. I feel a lot more free!

      If anyone has any questions regarding the use of earphones or hearing aids, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
       
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    2. Johan001

      Johan001 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication
      Hi Lynny,

      That's a great story and congratulations on making it to this point. A success story to me is anything when a person has found a way out of the rabbit hole and how to reclaim your life back.

      When someone's tinnitus just disappears it's more of a luck story, I believe. A true success is when we find a solution in face of adversity, like you did. Well done!
       
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    3. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Congratulations! I too hope to use hearing aids as somewhat of a masker of my high frequency tinnitus. I do have moderate to severe hearing loss in my right ear though.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Lynny

      Lynny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, possibly stress
      In that case I believe hearing aids might suit you even better! Although I have little to no hearing loss, the option to raise the volume of certain sounds in my surroundings has helped me greatly. It's a more natural sounding type of masking! In your case the hearing aids 'filling in the blanks' of your hearing could help a lot with your tinnitus fading more to the background.
       
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    5. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I sure hope!
       
    6. Meowmeowmeow

      Meowmeowmeow Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      I’ve had tinnitus since March 2021 and found out I have hearing loss. Moderate to moderate-severe in my right ear (where my tinnitus is) and unfortunately hearing aids hasn’t helped. I can still hear the tinnitus past the masker.
       
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    7. Lilah
      Mellow

      Lilah Member Benefactor

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I recently got hearing aids (switched from Widex to Phonak, so I can stream through Android) and find them helpful. The white noise option in the hearing aids is not helpful at all, so I am streaming violet noise and cricket sounds. I can still hear my tinnitus a bit since it is very high pitch. The amplification isn't helpful since I don't have hearing loss (according to audiogram). I'm only using them when I need them, which is when my tinnitus appears to get really loud all of a sudden and has a more piercing effect. I think there is also a psychological effect. Even when I use the hearing aids for only an hour and then take them off, I feel more calm. I thought about using them all day but am trying not to be too dependent on them, if I don't need to. I have not read a book in a while but I will likely use them when I read since the hearing aids have a calming effect.

      It is not good to mask completely.
       
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    8. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Has using them helped in any way to reduce your tinnitus or habituate?
       
    9. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      That’s a bummer. That’s exactly what I have.
       
    10. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Lynny

      Lynny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, possibly stress
      I agree! I can still hear my tinnitus above the 'masking' quite easily, though. I suppose maybe masking isn't the right word for it. For me it's a distraction from the tinnitus, not a complete masking of it.
       
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    11. Fields
      Busy

      Fields Member

      Location:
      Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise trauma
      Hi, Lynny.

      Let me start off by saying that I think you're immensely brave for your sharing your story with us. Reading about how the doctors failed to recognize your tinnitus, and the subsequent results, is quite scary (and recognizable).

      Secondly, I have immense respect for the way you managed to pull yourself out of this bad situation. Whilst reading about your recovery, I thought the quote below was especially striking:
      Not many people realize just how debilitating tinnitus can be and how hard it can be to pick up your life again. I feel this quote rather poignantly encapsulates the sacrifices we have to make in order to push on.

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      By the way, you mentioned you had to stop school. Have you been able to pick up your studies again?
       
      • Like Like x 1
    12. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Isn’t that sound enrichment?
       
    13. Elmer B Fuddled

      Elmer B Fuddled Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      plugged nasal eustachian tube
      I wear hearing aids for hearing loss and to mask the tinnitus. Two years now.

      Masking the tinnitus does not make it go away. The purpose of masking is to distract the brain from trying to process the ear, which unfortunately has lost those fine hair cells.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. AVIYT
      Wishful

      AVIYT Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregabalin
      What kind of hearing aids did you go with? I've got ReSound Linx GN 3D's
       
    15. Leila
      Assassinator

      Leila Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1 chiropractic treatment, 2 and 3 no cause
      Hello @Lynny,

      it really made me happy to read that the use of hearing aids has had the same positive impact on your life. I'm using hearing aids as a WNG myself and it has made all the difference to me. When I first insisted on trying them out, my ENT was very much against it because according to him most tinnitus suffers can't get used to the devices / noise (ha, ha). To me those hearing aids were like a miracle - yes, it took a while to find a sound I could live with, and yes, I know it is not actually a cure but having something to dampen the 24/7 torture was all I was hoping for and it's exactly what I've got.

      So I'm really happy that the use of a masker has made the same kind of difference to you :)

      Love,
      Leila
       
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    16. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Can hearing aids actually reduce tinnitus for those with hearing loss?

      For instance I have:

      55 dB loss at 2 kHz
      70 dB loss at 4 kHz
      60 dB loss at 6 kHz
      50 dB loss at 8 kHz
       
    17. Hamsti

      Hamsti Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Rhineland Palatinate, Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Everything, I suppose. Stress, high cholesterol, TMJ...
      @Wrfortiscue, I have also hearing loss, the classic age-related hearing loss curve (I am 33). The worst is 70 dB at 8 kHz.

      Hearing aids don't reduce my hearing loss, but they help me cope. You are able to hear a lot more noises and they help you focus on other things.
       
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    18. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      That’s great. Anything that helps is definitely appreciated.
       
    19. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      It would sure seem worth a shot plus you’d hear better.
       
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    20. AfroSnowman
      Balanced

      AfroSnowman Member Podcast Patron Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 16 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Nonnatural energy source
      Lynny,

      What do you use for you masking sounds? My experience with masking has been somewhat unpleasant as it just feels like it adds to the total sound rather than distracting or softening my primary noises.
       
    21. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I’ve had that in the beginning. Luckily I can mask it when it gets real shrill now. Weird how it fluctuates all day for me.
       
    22. Mark62

      Mark62 Member

      Location:
      Midwest, United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/25/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noisy van?
      Hello @Meowmeowmeow.

      I was wondering how your tinnitus was doing? Could you please provide an update?

      Thanks,
      Mark
       
    23. Lurius
      Wishful

      Lurius Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oslo, Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Valsalva maneuver
      I'm getting my hearing aid in 5 days. I think I will report on the result in this thread.
       
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    24. Wrfortiscue
      Provocative

      Wrfortiscue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      I’m getting mine in 6 :rockingbanana:
       
    25. Arthur Dent

      Arthur Dent Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      all my life
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
      I think I read a previous post you did which gave me some hope, because like you I have no hearing loss but crazy tinnitus, have been to numerous specialists and have been given the hrm... "not quite sure what to do for you" prognosis, "try this and come back if you don't see results in 2-3 months"

      the only headphones I have are air pod pro's and they don't last long but I'll wear them and listen to different things till they run out but based on different things i've read here, I haven't been convinced that hearing aids (since all I'd be using them for would be very expensive permanent headphones essentially) would solve or even help my condition. I always go back to your and a few other stories in here about getting some measure of relief though and think it may be worth it. I've had my condition my entire life (it would come and go) though the past 2-3 years it has been constant and unbearable.
       
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