Phonak Tinnitus Balance Feature

Anyone use the Phonak Tinnitus Balance on their Phonak Nathos Auto (same as the V70) or any Phonak Hearing Aids?

I was issued with Nathos Auto today from the NHS as a spare set of HAs and had the tinnitus thing activated but I can’t really hear the pink noise despite the audiologist saying it couldn’t go any louder.

Can others hear the Tinnitus Balance okay?

Yes, found the volume very flexible.
It hurt speech recognition for me.

The tinnitus controller needs to be set up precisely, just turning it on doesn’t match your tinnitus requirements, actually I find that Phonak has a very limited controller built in, ReSound, Signia, Widex have really good controllers with a lot of features, in fact I would say ReSound have the best I have seen.

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Yes I do, I have the same aids as you.
It was never really set up for me, it was just turned on. It’s part of my calm situation program. It’s quite noticeable, I find it a bit too loud.

Mine is set to my hearing loss according to the audiologist. I saw 83 dB on my left ear. I can’t even tell it’s on. Not sure what my right is set at.

As mentioned, they need to be set up precisely for your tinnitus, just having it turned on for your loss just isn’t going to work for most people.
What exactly are you expecting to hear? What you need to do is mask for tinnitus, so what kind of “noise” at what frequencies is your tinnitus? White noise,pink,blue or running water, or ringing, screeching?
Honestly your audiologist needs to be very experienced to get these set correctly but since you do your own programming you can adjust them to where you think they should be.

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I agree with @tenkan. When I worked with Signia’s version, I would often cycle through the different types of sound (white, pink, brownian, etc.) until the patient said, “Wow!” I wasn’t really given much training on this (“training” being a 4-letter word in my previous company), so I had to play around with it. I’ve seen the masking have instant, dramatic results, and I’ve seen it have zero results. One thing I did learn is that the masking should be set so that it is barely audible. In the beginning, you’re “supposed” to hear both the tinnitus and the masking at the same time. Your brain is supposed to start ignoring the tinnitus. From what I understand, it’s more retraining your brain than instant result.

That being said, I have seen it have an instant effect.

I’m finding it more beneficial then having it set as pink noise since it’s been adjusted. Having it set to my hearing loss is a lot better.

I’ll have to uninstall my Target software and type in the unlock code so I can look at the settings of the Nathos Auto.

The NHS are very good at just setting the hearing aids and that’s it. As adults we don’t get any automatic follow up appointments.

Before I started to self program in 2011, the NHS weren’t even sure how to link a Phonak remote control.

Just come back from the hospital. The noise generator control had to be enabled in my programs. I can now hear it. It’s helping loads.

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Since this thread I’ve started noticing my tinnitus again. :frowning: I think living with it without expecting it to improve, might have worked for me, too. :slight_smile: However, since my mother can’t sleep because of the noise, it might me nice to put some work into this feature.

I’ve read through the DesktopFittingGuideTinnitusBalance.pdf (370.8 KB) provided with Target (>help>desktopFittingGuides>Tinnitus balance) and it raises some questions.

  1. On p.1 it says: “that can be used as part of a recognized tinnitus management
    program, either in the context of masking or sound therapy.
    The masking of tinnitus is clear to me, but I have a hard time believing in sound therapy. The fact that it referred to as magic in the advertisement video here doens’t really help.
    Does anyone has experience with sound therapy?
  2. Phonak only has three features white/pink/audiogram: Just trial and error or is there any better approach. (The idea of the audiogram seems nice, since it starts under my hearing threshold level, so it can’t really bother me :wink: )
  3. The Tinnitus Handicap Inventory can be entered, but is not used in the pre-calculation. Is there a secondary calculation in which it is used? (See image at question 5.) (See post below for answer.)
  4. On p.3. DataLogging If I set the controls to noise volume, will I still be able to change the program volume with my ComPilot? Nope. Even more, sometimes the volume control gets confused and doesn’t have any effect anymore. Pressing the home icon, c.q. switching to another program resets volume control.
  5. Aside from the coarse or finetuning that can be done, what is the impact of Most troublesome tinnitus in AudioDirect:
  6. I looked at the green area’s for pink, white and audiogram noise and I wonder whether all noise profiles are adapted to your hearing loss. Is the difference between profiles the type of noise generated? What kind of noise is than generate in the one attuned to the audiogram?

Pink Noise:

White Noise:

Set to hearing loss:

I find I can’t hear the noise if it’s set for my hearing loss. As my loss is conductive, I don’t think it takes into account that you need more power to push through the damaged middle ear.

At the moment, I’ve got it set to pink noise and it’s at 83 dB.

Yes, I had to push the volume up a bit, too, when it’s set to my hearing loss. Rather tiring, though! Feel like taking a powernap! Some high frequency tinnitus still dominates, though, until it is set at the max.

Why did you change from hearing loss to pink noise?

I find pink noise more relaxing and by the end of the day, I don’t notice my tinnitus or pink noise sounding.

Some time ago I tried all three pink, white and audiogram. I also had to push gains up in all three to hear the tinnitus generator.

What I remember was a constant noise at a constant frequency. My tinnitus is a bunch of different frequencies so the tinnitus generator did not help much. I did try it for a few days at gains loud enough to hear. What I noticed was it hurt my speech recognition so I turned it off.

I should try it again some time. I read it should be a very subtle sound almost not heard that takes time to get results. I did not do that.

@Raudrive If you’re willing to sacrifice volume control, you can let it control the noise level. Works quite nicely. You could also skew the profile to more highs or lows if you find that there are still tinnitus frequencies that are not masked. If that doesn’t work, you can try to pinpoint the frequency of your most annoying sound and manually input it into your AudioDirect page. However, I don’t see the possibility to put more than one into it.

My first day results are:

  1. Less problems being part of the diner table conversations with noisy children present. (Two instances: 1) 3 kids&3adults 2) 2 kids&4 adults.) My speculation is that the higher background noise puts me in a different frame of mind than the sudden switch from calm to noise that keeps happening with children. (Especially, my oldest of 7, who just got her first Roger Focus aids, is not quite aware of her volume level.)
  2. Some high frequency tinnitus that is not masked with the “hearling loss” profile, but seems less apparent with pink noise.
  3. I am getting very tired. It’s much less obvious after two red and lasagna, but I couldn’t get up to go to the gym this afternoon. If this keeps up, the tinnitus generator is a no-no for me.
  4. Massive tinnitus, mirroring the generator almost perfectly as soon as I take out my aids. (Which I had to do to switch from “hearing loss” to “pink noise”.
  5. After half a day of “pink noise” I didn’t have an noticeable increase in tinnitus while in bed.

Does any of this sound familiar? What are your experiences?

Looking at the THI_Questionnaire.pdf (60.2 KB) and especially the way the index is calculated at the bottom, I think they would be hard pressed to make adjustments based on this inventory.

I read through the tinnitus attachment.
At the end the results got a smile out of me. I didn’t need to do the questionnaire to get the results. The results spoke for themselves.

Been thinking about this, wasn’t sure how to reply.

The tinnitus generator affected you differently than me.
My thoughts on it was it didn’t help me, period. I did not notice tinnitus to be worse from using it. The generator did lessen word understanding. It was just more noise that confused my ability to understand words.

Experience so far
After a few days with white noise, I feel that the most that has happened is that I am more aware of tinnitus and that I have more tinnitus while the hearing aids are off (in bed).

Most Troublesome Tinnitus (MMT)
I’ve tried to match the tinnitus to a frequency using online tools. I found this page helpful.

I found it quite impossible to assess the frequency based on a comparison. Around 5880 the generated sound seemed to dip in loudness. That seemed a nice criterion to choose that frequency. Also the noise is at my hearing threshold, so I choose 55dB as the loudness.

For those that felt that they didn’t hear the sound generator with choosing ‘hearing loss’: It is a lot louder with MTT enabled in the audiogram page in Target.

Without MMT

With MMT at 5.9kHz, 55dB

Interesting.
Seems I remember other members trying the tinnitus generator and having similar results as yours. Their tinnitus actually being worse from using the tinnitus generator.

I had thought about trying it again but now realize probably won’t. After 45 years of it why bother.

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