Tinnitus - Hearing aid or tinnitus masker

#1

Hi,

I am suffering from tinnitus since last 7 months and medicines are not working.

I have low frequency hearing loss.

I have decided to buy tinnitus masker.

My doctor suggested me hearing aid to improve hearing and told me that this will help me with tinnitus problem.

Doctor saying using hearing aid I can listen surrounding sound louder and this will help me to deal with tinnitus sound.

But I think hearing aid will not mask my tinnitus sound.I need masker using white noise to mask tinnitus sound.

I can inform people around me that I have very low frequency hearing loss so please ping me twice if did not hear you.

Currently I am using white noise from my mobile to work and sleep. This is helping but disturbing others.

Please advise on tinnitus masker or hearing aid?

-Thanks

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#2

I’d recommend a hearing aid that also has a tinnitus sound generator in it. Also, if the tinnitus is giving you a lot of problems, I’d seek some help from an audiologist that specializes in tinnitus treatment.

You don’t want to mask it out…you need to alter how your brain responds to the tinnitus and turn it from an active listening task to a passive one. Masking it might make it better short-term but long-term it will become more problematic for you.

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#3

Hi,

My audiologist and ENT doctor suggested me Tinnitus masker.

I have visited multiple doctors and audiologist.2 suggest Tinnitus masker and 1 suggest hearing aid.

Is there any disadvantage of continues hearing rainfall,white noise and ocean surf sound in ear in low frequency like masking tinnitus sound.

Could you please elaborate more in following

“Masking it might make it better short-term but long-term it will become more problematic for you.”

-Thanks

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#4

If you try to completely mask the sound any time you don’t have the masking noise your brain will be more attracted to the tinnitus thereby making it more noticeable, not less. Sure in the beginning it will be great because you don’t hear it, but you would have to continuously increase the masking tone to compensate because over time the brain will seek out the tinnitus because it thinks it’s an important signal. Hence, short term it will provide benefit but long-term it will make things much worse. The goal of tinnitus treatment is to change the tinnitus from an active listening task (one you notice) to a passive one (you don’t notice the noise). Generally you want to avoid a signal that has a predictable pattern or sound due to the way the brain reacts to music or other sounds and tinnitus.

Like I said, find a hearing aid with the tinnitus masker/sound generator in it. Then see what works best for you. I have fit a few people with the Zen product by Widex with good results. Most importantly, see someone with training in treating tinnitus. It really is a very specialized area.

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#5

Dear DocAudio,

Many thanks for an good advise.I will buy hearing aid with tinnitus masker feature.

Currently I am listing Sound Oasis Rain With White Noise 8 Hr - Tinnitus Therapy sounds and white noise.

http://www.sound-oasis.com/sounds/tinnitus-therapy/#s

I am listing using my Nokia phone and sometimes using Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset white at work so that other people should not disturb.

I keep volume at lowest level white listing using Bluetooth Headset till I get budget to buy hearing aid with tinnitus masker feature.

Please advise it is fine and there is no danger in listing Tinnitus Therapy sounds using Bluetooth Headset at lowest volume.

-Thanks

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#6

You better go get checked from a doctor.

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#7

I would say no it’s probably not hurting anything…but if you haven’t been checked by a physician/audiologist…I would do that. using music or other sounds to treat tinnitus short term is fine, but long term may have more negative consequences. I do not specialize in tinnitus however, speaking to an audiologist who does would be in your best interests.

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#8

I have profound hearing loss and my best hearing is in the low freq range. I have strong Tinnitus and recently fitted with new Widex Super 440 aids that have the Zen program whcih has fractal tones to help lessen my tinnitus. Widex has come out with the new DREAM line of hearing aids with the Zen. Hope this helps.

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#9

I have had tinnitus for going on 40 years (I’m 56) and it doesn’t really bother me-- I learned long ago not to pay attention to it. I’m finally getting around to seeing about aids, as my hearing has gotten bad enough I can’t ignore it any longer. (60dB @2k, 70dB @3k, 75dB @4k, 90dB @ 6k, 100dB/no response @ 8k). I’m thinking that I don’t want to get an aid with a masker, out of fear that I’ll notice the tinnitus much more when I’m not wearing the aids. Am I needlessly concerned? Thanks.

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#10

I’m with you on this point. Just got HAs for the first time. Masked is a feature available but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t remember not having tinnitus and I’m 62

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#11

My Verso 962’s have the TS feature. I use the program when I am sitting quietly reading as it helps with the distracting tinnitus then. Don’t use it other times as it gives a fuzzy background noise. One thing I love is that in the morning I really notice the tinnitus, but when I just put in the HAs on the regular setting, the added sounds cut the tinnitus down to about 1/3 of what it is. As the Audi said, if you look at a billboard with a red spot on it you notice the spot more than the same billboard covered with lots of colors. The spot is still there but not as noticeable and with a fuller range of sounds with the HAs on the tinnitus is not as noticeable.

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#12

To reduce tinnitus you need a background sound. As a test run a music player with some soft sound . There is white noice generators that could remove tis . But YES if you have hearing loss you must wear Bi Aural Hearing Aids.

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#13

I think tinnitus is different for a lot of people. Some people really need to have a masking sound that is almost, but not quite as loud as the tinnitus. Others, like me for example, benefit from a soft background sound like rain or wind chimes - just something else for the brain to hear.

The other consideration I believe is whether the tinnitus is associated with hearing loss or not. For people like me with ringing that matches my audiogram (associated with hearing loss), hearing aids are of great benefit because you are feeding the brain the sounds that it is missing and craving to hear (the way I explain it to myself). Just amplifying background noise to fill the silence is half the battle. Others that have sudden onset tinnitus without a corresponding hearing loss seem to be the subject of notched music/white noise therapy, neuromonics, etc.

Im not an expert by any means, just someone who has had tinnitus for 20 years and has done a lot of lay-person research. I am actually in the process of getting my first ever set of hearing aids, which I have put off for far too long… I am in the process of getting the Phonak Audeo Q with tinnitus management through the Veterans Administration right now and will receive them mid November. I also have an appointment at Costco later today to check out and probably purchase their new Signature 5.0 hearing aid. This one doesn’t have a tinnitus feature, but I’m not convinced there’s much value in having it built into the HA. Most of the time i am able to ignore my tinnitus, and for those times I can’t, I have some MP3 files I can play with headphones.

As I mentioned above, gentle rain and wind chimes are my favorites.

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#14

Even though tinnitus is hearing related its treatment can differ greatly from tradition hard-of-hearing solutions, e.g., alimentary diet, stress, etc.
Hearing loss can bring on tinnitus, but there are many people who have tinnitus and no hearing loss
I highly recommend tinnitus sufferers to go to the American Tinnitus Association’s website www dot ata dot org
Also, there is a wealth of stuff on tinnitus on the web (but beware for anyone who offers solutions/cures for a price)

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#15

I agree, that treatment just totally depends. It is different for everyone. If you have hearing loss and tinnitus, then hearing aids might work wonderfully! The ones with tinnitus masking feature is definitely a must-have. Although, hearing aids aren’t the only treatment options. I have found several other options too. https://hearingassociateslv.com/tinnitus-treatment/ It just depends on the cause of your tinnitus and your unique hearing. I think that those suffering from tinnitus need to seek a specialist sooner rather than later! I hope that helps. Best of luck.

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#16

Many people reported changes in their Tinnitus by changing their diet. Cut back greatly on processed meats (which have too much salt/sodium), sugared drinks, over 2 cups of coffee, sweets and candies. Tinnitus can be made worse by stress, so lowering your stress helps. Herb based and Vitamin based supplements marketed as cure or relief do not work for most people and are a waste of money. Music relaxation soundtracks like pink noise, ocean sounds, raining sounds help calm your Tinnitus.

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#17

Try hearing aids without a masker first. The point isn’t so much to “mask” the tinnitus as it is to provide stimulation to the part of your system with sensory loss. Fitting hearing aids for low-frequency losses can be a challenge, though. I’m afraid any kind of masking in that region would negatively impact your ability to understand people or hear different cues in your environment.

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