Tinnitus and hearing Aids

I just got through three trial periods where I would wear recommended hearing aids to try and reduce my Tinnitus, which can be as loud as the normal TV volume. My Tinnitus comes from loud noise damage back in the 60s and 70s when few were talking up noise protection. Many sources say that the first step in looking for a way to reduce Tinnitus is to try hearing aid amplification. I did not believe anything would help my Tinnitus, so never tried anything.

The first trial was with Avada where they let me wear Oticon M9s for about 2 hours and it seemed to have a slight improving effect. Boy was I surprised, so I got interested in doing something further.

The second trial was a 2 week free trial (sponsored by a local hearing center) with Oticon M7; nice hearing aids, but no help to me.

The third trial was for 45 days and sponsored by Hearing Planet (http://www.hearingplanet.com) where they teamed me up with a local audiologist and paid for the screening and trial. I used the “next level up” hearing aids; Ion 400. Again there was no improvement to my Tinnitus. Hearing Planet did a good job in setting up the screening and visits and covered the return of the hearing aids.

So, now I have teamed up with a Tinnitus specialist (at the office recommended by Hearing Planet) and will see where that goes. After an extensive Tinnitus screening, the first thing that I was given to try was a little music playing device called Neuromonics which actually made my Tinnitus slightly worse.

My tinnitus was helped somewhat by wearing Widex Divas. It is currently not helped by Element Moxis. I wonder if the in-ear was better in terms of tinnitus reduction than is the open fit - I think it shielded me from noises better, which is what activates my tinnitus.

Hearing aids are useful for hearing loss and the thing most people do not realize is that Tinnitus does not always cause hearing loss (though if noise induced as in your case it is likely). There are many hearing devices that are used to cancel out the sounds which can be successful and in some cases such as your are not. In this case, I would recommend you test some non mechanical methods as well such as meditation. See an audiologist as well as a tinnitus specialist for more opinions on it and just to make sure you do not have any hearing loss.


Dunshaw

As a tinnitus retraining therapsit and Audiologist and I often use hearing aids to reduce tinnitus. In 95% of the cases I see the tinnitus is a symptom of the hearing loss, so correcting the hearing loss leads to a reduction of the tinnitus. You have to however pick your hearing aid very carefully and it needs to be set up very carefully to work effectively. You do not want to block the ear canal causing an artificial (occlusion) hearing loss, which would exagerate the tinnitus. So generally open fit devices if appropraite for your loss are the best. The aid also needs a frequency response range of up to 8Khz as tinnitus often occurs at 6-8KHz and the aid needs a trimmer at the 6-8KHz range to make sure sufficient gan can be delivered. The only aid in your trial which met all these criteria was the Dual M9. But the reduction effect would have probably been greater had the Audi artificially increased the 6-8Khz band.

Neuromonics is based on tinnitus retraining and works well, but they often have you purchase the neuromonics masker and then once your tinniuts retraining is done, they then give you hearing aids -making profit twice. I prefer prescribing hearing aids as the only step when required as it is equally (or more) effective and improves the hearing and the tinnitus at the same time and thus is more cost effective. I often use Audeo YES (any model), Oticon Dual m9, Dual W or XW, Unitron Next Moxi or Yuu Moxi as devices to achieve these goals.

Good luck

I have a low-frequency linear loss with tinnitus primarily in my RT ear (sometimes in the left ear, but it’s mostly difficult to tell unless it gets loud) I see an audiologist in 2 weeks. I expect to be fitted with an occluded (maybe vented) fitting. In general, what can be done for those of us with low frequency loss and tinnitus.

here are my numbers if that helps.
Freq-R/L 500- 50/60, 1k- 60/70, 2k- 50/70, 3k- 50/55, 4k- 45/60, 6k- 40/40

Thank you!

In cases with low frequency loss you still want to reduce occlusion unless the tinnitus is low frequency humming in which case a bit of occlusion would be ok. Looking at your audiogram I would probably stick with a 1.5mm-2mm vent in both aids. Make sure the aid has good feedback cancellation though.

Worth considering Widex Mind with their Zen function and Siemens have a couple of products which have a hearing aid/WNG combi. I would recommend that you get a hearing therapist involved as well though.

Hi there:

I have tinnitus also. Are you saying that a Unitron Moxi (say an 8 or 16) will help with tinnitus?

I have tried all of the following and had no help: Siemens Cielo Active, Rexton Gem, Oticon Delta, America Hears, Sonic Ion, Unitron Moda Conversa, and others that I cannot think of. What makes the Next Moxi so special. Every audi I go to says, “oh I can usually tune that tinnitus out”. Hasn’t happened yet and I’m sure there is nothing special about my T. Just regular noise induced T. So what is so great about Moxi? Why does everyone act like they can tune it right out and they can’t.

Thanks.

Which Delta did you use as the Delta 8000 worked reasonably for tinnitus? The Unitron NEXT Moxi has a frequency response up to 7KHz, and a HF trimmer, which I don’t think all the others have. It seems you tried a lot of last gen aids, but no new gen aids. The aud also needs to understand your tinnitus and must check tinnitus matching and tinnitus masking response to be able to determine a reasonable prognosis for your tinnitus. You MUST also understand your tinnitus as a grasp and understanding of what is actually happening in your brain takes the fear out of it, which reduces the emotional response, which is what keeps the tinnitus in the top of your mind.
So yes the right aid with the right aud can definately help.

I thought the Rexton Gem was a new gen HA…

The Delta was a 6000…

I have not really went to an aud, only fitters, unless you count an audioprosthologist as something akin to an aud.

I just find going to an aud an exercise in parting me with too much of my cash. I have generally tried the internet, costco and a local place that is a speech and hearing nonprofit, but does not have an aud.

I have no fear of my T. I’ve had it a long time and I can sleep without white noise, etc. Its during the daytime that it bothers and, I think it generally makes me irritable…

I currently am not wearing HA’s but was going to go back to costco to try the Bernafon Verite, but if you think it is not as well equipped as a Moxi, I can try one off the internet. The 8 can be obtained for $1,000 each, and the Yuu for $1,600+.

I can’t justify paying an aud $3,500 or $4,000 for an 8. The individual at costco thought I would notice an immediate reduction in T with the Gems. I tried them for almost 90 days before returning them.

Thanks.

When I say “fear” it means any emotional response such as annoyance, irritation, frustration etc due to the unknown (not having control), not scared as such. I should also mention that you have pretty much 0% chance that a hearing aid programmed by someone over the internet is going to have the right adjustments to optimally help with your tinnitus. You might be able ot expect suboptimally (and if you’re lucky reasonably) improved hearing, but without appropriate evaluation, counselling and fitting you need to make peace with the fact that things re your T will probably continue as is for the forseable future. I am not trying to scare you, I am just stating the facts from my 10 years of tinnitus retraining experience (and also being an ex tinnitus suffered myself).

I would say try the Verite as it is based on Oticon’s Rite platform, of which some aids can amplify at 8KHz or above. At least you’ll be seeing someone face to face. Just make sure you pick a model with a 6 to 8KHz trimmer and ask the fitter to up the gain in that region a bit. more than the software suggest. Maybe have them add multiple programs with ever increasing 6-8KHz gainto try and then pick the program you most like in your day to day use and have the fitter make that program 1.

I wish you the best of luck.

Pman-
I really empathize with your situation! This is probably a long shot… I’m assuming that your insurance doesn’t cover, or covers very little of you HA purchase. Have you checked if perhaps treatment of your tinnitus would be covered separate from your hearing loss?

It infuriates me that the health insurance industry doesn’t widely acknowledge hearing deficit as a viable medical condition, much like vision deficit. :mad:

Good thought. I will check the possibility of insurance covering tinnitus treatment / retraining, however, my insurance does not cover any of the cost of the HA’s.

I started with my first hearing aids, Kirkland Signatures, yesterday. Before being fitted the audiologist asked if I had tinnitus. My first response was “No,” but then I corrected, “Well, now that you ask, I guess I do but I’m rarely aware of it. Now that I’m thinking of it I can tell it’s there.”

Well, I have to say that after one full day of wearing my aids it’s now much louder and more intrusive - at least while the aids are on.

Anyone else have this experience?

Jeff

This is typically what could happen if the aid is chosen incorrectly or set incorrectly for tinnitus i.e. is not supplying appropriate high frequency amplification, or is too loud, or is too occluded or a combination of these. You might need to speak to the fitter at your follow-up to address this. Unfortunately I do not know anything about the signatures as they are not available in Australia to help you much more. All the same suggestions as I mentioned before would apply in yuor case too.

I also have tinnitus and am doing research on how to reduce it. My first HA’s (Tego Pro’s) have a lot of circuit noise (amplifier hiss) which really cuts down the effect of T. As I am also researching on getting better aids for speech in noise, I have been trying out some other HA’s. So far, the Starkey Destiny 1200 BTE’s are good for speech in noise but no circuit noise. This sent my T. through the roof until I cranked up the gain until “I could hear a mouse cough”. I then briefly tried the Destiny 1200 Power Plus at the suggestion of Starkey because it has a larger receiver and found that it has a similar circuit hiss to my old Tego’s. Starkey told me that they can adjust the amount of circuit noise but my HIS thinks this is not true. Has anyone played around with adjusting the amount of circuit noise that is perceived?

It is true that hearing aids can be pricey, but medical insurance sometimes will cover some of the expenses. But a newer hearing aid is more advanced and will be more beneficial in the long run in helping cope with the tinnitus.


DSH

Hearing instruments are an investment that pays for itself through increased confidence, better quality of life and even increased earning power according to some studies and many more psychological benefits.

Hearnow, I cannot agree more. Hearing aids have made feel so much better they were worth the price. My insurance only covered the audiologist’s evaluation and that was only if I went to an ENT first.
Many years ago a ENT and his audiologist sold me a hearing aid for loss and they said tinnitus. They said since my T was mostly o the right side i should have a left ear aid. The audi did not T testing and I now know that the aid was not digital.
Since I was so disappointed in that HA I avoided the very idea of using one.
Recently i had to go and sought a audi with T experience (certified in TRT).
After extensive testing (most of my T is, unusually she said, in the 10K range) she suggested HA’s.
First I tried Phonak Yes V’s. I’m guessing by you they are the Audeo’s. Wore them for a week and was floored. It was, an is, wonderful. T is still there but not near as obtrusive.
I next tried WileyX with ZEN, also the mid level ones. I found the white noise usuless and the Zen tones just OK, but I really disliked the sound of the Wiley amplification, so back to the Yes V’s.
I got and ICOM so I could play my MP3 with ambient sounds on it through the Yes’s.
I don’t use my cell phone much. I had the audi turn down the occlusion when the ICOM is down (the preset is 7) to 3. I cannot hear stuff like an MP3 book if there is any outside noise but the lack of occlusion does keep the T down more then the original setting.

I too have tinnitus. It seems like the tinnitus is exactly what my audio gram shows. It is the ringing that blocks out sounds in all frequencies.

I am not rich so I bought a set of used Phonak Savia 111 hearing aids off EBay. They were for a similar type hearing loss but mine is worse. I am in the process of buying the Hi-Pro programing box and the CS44A cables to self program the aids.

These Savia aids go up to 6800 frequency, will they help with my tinnitus?

Thanks to everyone for the info on this site, it is great!