Tinnitus sufferers using hearing aids for relief: how quickly does it work?

Hi all, these questions are for tinnitus sufferers whose hearing aids have been programmed to help relieve symptoms. I know this doesn’t work for everyone. It hasn’t for me so far…but I wonder if I should try again…

If you do get relief, did it happen as soon as you finished your fitting? A while later? Months?

Also, has anyone with severe to profound loss and tinnitus in one ear achieved significant relief?

Thanking responders in advance :slightly_smiling_face:

It depends on the person. Some people notice their tinnitus volume drop immedately upon putting the hearing aids in, some notice months later, some don’t get a difference. The hearing aids need to be well-fit to target; often it’s better if they are a little bit on the loud side.

It can be harder to get tinnitus relief if the ear is unaidable. Some cochlear implant users experience tinnitus relief with their processor on.

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I have had tinnitus since Thanksgiving of 1975. I have been wearing hearing aids for a little over 18 years. My tinnitus is 24/7/365, I have learned to manage my tinnitus and not to pay attention to it. I have to shove it to the back of my mind and go on with life. My tinnitus is white noise and really bad times it is tones that literally screams at me. My hearing aids force my tinnitus far to the back of my mind except in very quiet environments. All I can say is that I have learned to accept it and to live with it.

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Along with the OP’s question, I ask experienced HA users who use tinnitus masking: How does one sound mask another. Don’t you focus on the masking sound. Now, when I’m when I’m talking about tinnitus, my high pitched ringing is annoying me, but that is because I’m thinking about it. Wouldn’t you have to tune out the masking sound as well… I mean as Gandalf and Aragorn said: Out of the frying pan, into the fire? Can someone help me by explaining this to me?

Tyia.

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I think the theory (extreme layman’s terms and as I understand it) is that tinnitus is caused by the brain listening for a particular sound/tone/frequency and when it is missing (due to HL) it “makes it up” (which is the tinnitus you hear). Hence if you substitute real sound for what is missing via the HA (masking), the brain is happy and ignores it.

I don’t think masking I have tried has been programmed correctly, because I could still hear tinnitus all day. Then after taking out HA at night tinnitus was worse (although people with successful masking also report this).

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Like others my tinnitus is 24/7/365 loud and clear.
The hearing aids do help the tinnitus go to the background even when my tinnitus program is off.
Remember there has to be sound coming into the hearing aid that is loud enough that it helps with the tinnitus.
My masking sound is white noise.
I believe it has to be the correct frequency to help.
I can control the masking sound volume from my aid once the program is running.
It’s not a cure all but it helps.

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Gave up on the tinnitus program and use the IOS15 background sounds

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The tinnitus program is all I have.
My aids do not connect to the phone without a helper gadget.
Not spending 400.00.

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Tinnitus is forever. There exists no cure. The masking programs simply furnish additional unwanted noise, I’m 85 and have experienced tinnitus for the last 40 years.

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iOS15 background sounds. That’s interesting!

I am wearing a CROS in my tinnitus ear so it has no masking capability.

I am tempted to try again with two hearing aids. Hence my interest in whether masking works for others. I guess there might be two options, the HA masking or the iOS15 background settings :thinking:

This is why I asked and what I was thinking. Ty, sir. Respect to you.

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@Steph

I use 2 x Aids even tho my left doesn’t really pick up speech like my right does.

I find if I don’t wear 2 x Aids, I get super dizzy and can’t walk in a straight line.

I hope you get on well with trying 2 x Aids again.

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Granted tinnitis is very unique to each person who has it, but weighing in here with my own 24x7x365 tinnitis I’ve had since taking medication for an ear infection at age 14 …

My “ring tone” is a steady tone in both ears. I tried to hit keys on a piano once and figure out what that note is, but I’ve forgotten. It’s around middle-C I think?

I went from 14 to 32 with NO aids at all and a pretty bad hearing loss. But I found the minute I put my aids ON (and every day since), the louder ambient noises just drown out the tinnitus. When I take my aids off to sleep at night, I’m lucky it’s that flat tone - for the MOST part - so I don’t have any trouble falling asleep.

However! My ears are like weather vanes. Whent the pressure changes to LOW, I get some real loud BONG! BONG! BONG! combined with a louder and more tuneful tinnitus tone.

If the weather gets HOTTER all of a sudden, I get more rapid-fire DING-DING-DING-DING-DING! Funny, but those tones make me smile cuz the weather is getting BETTER!

These weather-related tones come on about a day in advance of the weatherman’s forecast. So perhaps I should’ve been a weather-gal myself back in the day?

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Veterans have a lot of tinnitus problems because many veterans have hearing loss. The VA has a program to help vets manage their tinnitus called PTM which I took last fall. The materials are free to download. There are a variety of VA sites that have different things. A quick google took me here:
VA National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR)
The handbook from my class was even on there to download somewhere, I posted a link here a while back.

There is another free online from the American Tinnitus Association. I’m sure they’d appreciate it if you joined. I have not. But here is a link to them: ATA PTM program

The theory goes, you can help your experience with three ways. Mask it with pleasant soundsthat are soothing, mask with background sounds that contrast your tinnitus, and then there is distract yourself with interesting sound.

The VA has provided some sound generators, and also put a masking program in my HAs. The HA program is pink noise. The sound generators have dozens of programs. I am listeneing to a rain storm program at the moment. I have a grey noise program that I play into a pillow with speakers low enough not to disturb my wife, but loud enough to hear if I snuggle up to that part of the pillow. I like it enough to use every night now. I also run an air cleaner that masks quite well. We’ve used fans, too. There are a lot of resources out there to help if you know where and what to look for.

Hope this helps somebody.

WH

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Thanks for sharing guys. tinnitus is so weird! Everyone has a different experience.

I thought I could sleep through anything. Partner’s noisy old CPAP machine, no problem, actually quite relaxing.

Now my tinnitus is so loud I listen to podcasts to fall asleep. Nice deep voices talking are great, music doesn’t work at all.I haven’t tried a noise generator. I think podcasts might be more interesting and distracting!

I did a similar VA program about 15 years ago. I didn’t get much I out of it I wasn’t already doing. I just basically learned to wall my tinnitus off to another part of my brain that I don’t pay attention to

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I wish I could mask mine but nothing really works except just forgetting about it (which then comes right back as soon as I hear or see the word tinnitus ;).

As for sleeping, try Steven Halpern. He has several cds where he uses subliminal sounds in the music. I used it constantly some time ago (got used to just quiet music now) and it worked beautifully. You can’t get it through the Apple or Google music as subliminal stuff is banned (which makes sense if the author isn’t telling you that’s what is used). But you can buy from his site. Definite recommend…

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Listen to what you are being told from long-time tinnitus sufferers. Don’t mask it but rather train your brain to ignore and forget. Buy hearing aids to help your hearing and don’t count on them to help you with tinnitus at all.
15 years for me now of 24/7/365. Took me about a year to train my brain.

That said, I do love my hearing aids. Recently upgraded to a new pair of Paradise P90R. But I’ve never used the tinnitus programs. Seems like a waste of time to me.

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Welcome to the forum @texaco24.9, Yeah, I absolutely agree with your sentiments, I have had loud tinnitus for over 30 years, at first I was nearly suicidal with it, eventually I realised, I could suppress it, but not like switching off a light, it usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes of concentration, before it gradually eases away….Like you, I have never used a masker. Cheers Kev :wink:

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I found it surprising how many people commit or attempt suicide over tinnitus. COVID has been a new major cause of tinnitus. I met a couple who both experienced tinnitus as a symptom of their long-covid experience. The woman in the couple had it particularly bad.

Texas Roadhouse CEO Suicide

To anyone really struggling: There is help available. And there are people willing to listen and give advice/help. And I am one of them, willing to listen and help. Don’t give up!

WH

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