Wearable In-Ear Maskers and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by jazz, Apr 4, 2015.

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Have you tried "in-ear" wearable maskers or hearing aids with white noise?

  1. Yes, I have and they did help.

  2. Yes, I have and they did not help.

  3. No, I have not but am considering them.

  4. No, I have not and am not considering them.

Results are only viewable after voting.
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    1. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Masking tinnitus with in-ear devices--whether they be wearable WNGs or hearing aids with built-in maskers--are a proven method to help alleviate tinnitus. I am curious how many members of our community have tried wearing in-ear maskers or are considering wearing them? Please know I do mean wearable maskers and not just playing white noise in your ears with ear buds.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    2. I couldn´t do without them, like glasses for my ears(y)
       
      • Like Like x 6
    3. David S

      David S Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      I have in my left ear where I have most T. It helps a lot. I use Widex with an open plastic top. I am also planning to start with my right ear because I believe I got it more balanced then. Also have a tiny T in my right ear. I use it from once I am up in the morning until bed. Never use any sound during night.

      Happy Easter to all of you!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    4. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      @Nick the Swede and @David S Thank you! :)

      I wore them for almost two years after I initially got tinnitus, and they were very beneficial. Though I no longer wear them--except if I'm very loud--I do believe many people would benefit if they tried them. They definitely help alleviate tinnitus related anxiety. (At least, this is what the maskers did for me.)

      Obviously, we all want a cure; but, in the meantime, it's also important to get control of our tinnitus. And maskers--especially in-ear ones--may help achieve this goal.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    5. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      A cure? We all just need a massive reduction to a level comparable to mild tinnitus. Seriously, a cure would be a nice, but a big reduction is good enough.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. Stink

      Stink Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2000
      how much did they cost? insurance covered?
       
    7. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      Insurance doesn't cover them. At least, mine didn't. I actually didn't know about the regular maskers and instead went for hearing aids with built-in maskers. (My hearing loss is slight, 20db, in the 5K-8K area.) I got Starkey's Xino and the platform lets you individualize your noise (volume and sounds) to match your tinnitus. I was given three programs I could play, depending on how loud I was or what tone(s) were most dominant.

      This is what I have; it cost about $4K. (ouch!) But it truly helped.


      I believe audiologists are supposed to give you a free trial if you are interested.

      I do know of one in-ear masker that several people have tried and had gotten significant relief. I do not know the costs but I imagine they are a lot less than hearing aids. Here is the link:


      If anyone knows of other in-ear maskers, please write! :) :)
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    8. Stink

      Stink Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2000
      is it $4,000 for 2 aids? or $8,000?

      can you order these online?

      what is open plastic top? can you take picture of your widex?

      what model do you use? how expensive?
       
    9. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      @Stink The $4K (actually it was a little over) was for both aids. And I do believe people are supposed to wear two maskers, even if their tinnitus is unilateral or primarily on one side. This is because the central auditory pathways are interconnected so each ear "hears" the other one. (I'm not sure of the exact mechanism, but this is my understanding.) Regarding price, I bought my hearing aids about three years ago. I don't know of the current costs. But you don't have to get the bluetooth ones. (I didn't.) Just the normal hearing aids with the maskers are sufficient and less expensive. What I liked about Starkey, however, was the ability to personalize your sounds. The other companies did not offer this.

      That said, the in-ear maskers are also very beneficial, like I noted above. Regarding the link I gave you above, it looks like they are only sold through an audiologist. I'm not sure why. Perhaps, like with my maskers, they will tailor the noise to your tinnitus. I do not know. Anyway, here is the link from their website to people who do sell the devices.

      https://generalhearing.com/consumer/where-to-buy/

      Over the years, numerous people have benefitted from these devices. And, after benefitting, nearly all of them moved on--eager to reclaim their old pre-tinnitus life.

      Of course, if you do try in-ear maskers, please share your experiences. It is important that we collect as much data as possible about devices that may (or may not) help our tinnitus. And, regarding maskers, I do know most people benefit greatly. And so I hope you become another success story.

      Here is one link from 2013 of a person (Blair) who did really well with Widex Zen. Personally, I tried these and they irritated my noise. But tinnitus is a personal thing. What irritates one person may be soothing to another.

      Another member, Karl, was a frequent contributor to TT. A few months after purchasing hearing aids with maskers, he began to come onto the forum less and less. Now, he rarely visits. This is because he's also moved on with his life.

      Indeed, the poll above is further proof that these in-ear maskers do help! :) The effect is typically not immediate, but, over a few months you will get a lot better. (Some people, of course, do experience immediate relief. Tinnitus is so individual.)

      Also note that many--not all--people say their tinnitus got louder for a few days once they started to mask. That is normal. Tinnitus is very temperamental after all. And it often balks at new sounds. But, after a week or two, the sound should go back to baseline and you should start feeling relief.

      And please ask for a trial period, preferably thirty days. They are expensive and you should have options. :)
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    10. @Stink, i use these:

      sleepnoiser-cymba-h.png

      The Swedish Health care system provided me with them for 90 dollars for both. In sweden you will have to pay around 500 dollars each if you aint got the cost covered like me
       
    11. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      @jazz
      Can you sleep with these maskers?
       
    12. @valeri, the ones that i use are comfortable to sleep with:

      sleepnoiser-cymba-h.png

      Just a soft silicone shell
       
    13. David S

      David S Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      @Stink

      Here is how mine looks. The top is open so I can hear external noise as well as the white noise. I can adjust the volume in 9 levels. For me the cost was covered by the public healthcare.

      Widex.jpg
       
    14. Inge
      Cool

      Inge Member

      Location:
      california
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      benzodiazepine withdrawal
      I bought siemens hearing aids at the tinnitus clinic in London for $6000. They were custom programmed to match or mask my tinnitus. I wear them every other day. The volume of my tinnitus has decreased by 60% since March. However I also experiment with meds. To me they are a life saver. Not a magic cure but slow and steady improvement.
       
    15. noisebox
      Loved

      noisebox Member

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      West End show. Came back 2015 vitamin D overdose prescribed
      Horrid little things. Made my T compete with them. My T likes quiet, its that simple. Tried many times given up now.
       
    16. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      It seems as though these maskers only have one or two sound settings? White noise does nothing for my T, I need something different.

      Any recommendations for maskers that work with reactive high frequency tinnitus? My T sits up high multiple tones that really cut through white noise. Maybe a device with chimes or something? Or even a higher pitched noise?

      Anyone have any suggestions? Thx

      Just to add, my T sounds are all above 8khz. Is there even a masker out there that can produce sounds in this type of range to mask in that area?
       
    17. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      Some maskers have Bluetooth connectivity so could potentially stream crickets from your phone. Just a thought.
       
    18. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks man. Yeah I think that would probably be ideal.
       
    19. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      No problem. I believe some of the higher end models will offer it. I think I heard someone mention Widex Zen.
       
    20. makethemgold

      makethemgold Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      I find the costs of these devices beyond outrageous; practically gouging even. I remember ponying up $2k for wearable devices for TRT and was just disgusted at the reality of being presented with effectively tiny white noise headphones that really shouldn't cost more than a few dollars to make.
       
    21. cowdodge
      Grumpy

      cowdodge Member

      Location:
      Seattle, Washington
      Tinnitus Since:
      1995
      You are so right! Those little wing things are way over priced. Never worked for me.
       
    22. Sharr

      Sharr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1950
      I have been wearing Tinnitus maskers for one month, so far they aren't helping with sounds especially when I take them off to sleep.
       
    23. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Do you get any relief in the daytime ?
       
    24. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996
      Wearable maskers are commonly known today as white noise generators (WNG). The reason being, they are not supposed to mask or cover up the tinnitus. Totally masking the tinnitus so it can’t be heard, will not allow the brain to habituate to it. In some cases masking tinnitus can actually make it appear more intrusive. As soon as the white noise generators are removed, the brain will immediately focus on the tinnitus and it can appear louder.

      Most hearing therapists and audiologists, advise their tinnitus patients, to set the volume level of the white noise generators slightly lower than the tinnitus. Over time this allows the brain to focus on the white noise and gradually push the tinnitus further into the background so it becomes less intrusive.

      Wearable white noise generators/maskers are a good way of providing sound enrichment to the brain and auditory system. They shouldn’t be worn to bed at night. Instead, a sound machine placed by the bedside and set to play throughout the night until morning is advised, keeping the volume level slightly below the tinnitus. This supplies the brain and auditory system with sound enrichment.

      It is suggested, anyone that has intrusive tinnitus, should use a sound enrichment at night in preference to sleeping in a quiet room. When we are in a deep sleep, if the brain hears silence, it has the ability to generate its own background noise/activity. In doing so it will increase the volume of the tinnitus, and make it more intrusive during waking hours.

      Michael
       
      • Informative Informative x 3
      • Like Like x 1
    25. Aussie Lea
      Dramaqueen

      Aussie Lea Member

      Location:
      Melbourne Yarra Valley
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/09/2013
      I've looked into these and they cost too much. There is demand out there for affordable WNGs.
       
    26. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I'm still new to T. I'm having a difficult time adapting following an acoustic trauma. One of my ENT doctors recommended masking hearing aids (that was pretty much his only recommendation). He's older and has hearing loss/tinnitus himself.
      At first I just did not want to entertain the idea, I just wanted to do whatever I could to ensure this was not permanent, but after having listened to cricket sounds for hours on end it's making me start thinking about it. Most loud sounds don't resonate with my high frequency tinnitus and do not drown it out, but certain things seem to help a little bit.

      Have you tried them?
      Do you think it's helpful in the early stages of tinnitus, would it help someone habituate faster?
       
    27. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I'm two years in and I have finally decided that I'm going to try some sort of in ear noise generator, just not sure what yet. I'm like you, spend a lot of time listening to crickets. I would like find something that I could stream to so I could pick my own sounds, this does not seem to exist, white noise seems to be what most products offer which doesn't suit me at all.
       
    28. Michael2013
      Happy

      Michael2013 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2013
      In the early stages of my tinnitus, I traded in my hearing aids for some that had sound generators built in. I used them for the first 6 months or so. It was helpful mostly when I was in a quiet place (every day at my desk for example) and I could turn them on to give me something else to focus on. It did not make the T go away, but it gave me some (if only slightly) control over it. That alone just made me feel better.

      Now the functionality is turned off and I never use it. It was good when my anxiety was high.
       
    29. Alue

      Alue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I know, I used to love the sound of rain and the waves and things like that, but those kind of ambient noises do not mask my T at all. Crickets do seem to help a little although not mask it completely. Maybe that's because mine is in the high frequency range.

      Around what frequency range is yours?

      You mention something you could stream, I think there are bluetooth ones that you can stream sound from your smartphone.
       
    30. Michael2013
      Happy

      Michael2013 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2013
      I know nothing about noise generators alone, but my Linx hearing aids do what you describe. It has Bluetooth functionality that connects directly to my iPhone so I can stream any kind of sound I want (think tinnitus sound therapy apps). They are expensive though.
       

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