How do I chose the right Hearing Aids for hearing loss & tinnitus?

Posted by gyro @gyro, Dec 17, 2019

I am new to this group and am in need of some help. I have a slight- mild hearing loss in frequencies up through 3000Hz in both ears. From 3000
HZ my hearing drops in a linear line to -40db in my right ear and -55db in my left. I also have tinnitus. My audiologist has suggested hearing aids for both the hearing loss and tinnitus. Unfortunately she strongly suggests over the ear type and I was hoping for something less visible in the ear. My question is;
Has anybody with similar hearing loss and tinnitus had a good result with canal style hearing aids?
Thank you.

@gyro

I’ve read recently that people with hearing loss and tinnitus can often times find relieve from their tinnitus simply by wearing hearing aids to help compensate for their hearing loss. The amplification prescribed allows for greater sound input which in turn can lessen or even eliminate the tinnitus while wearing the hearing aids.
My question is: Have any folks here found that to be the case or did/has the tinnitus remained at the same level as before hearing aids were prescribed and worn?

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I just received my hearing aid for my left ear r/t tinnitus. I have only had it for about a week but have not noticed any reduction in the tinnitus. Does anyone know how long it takes to see/hear results?

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Unfortunately tinnitus usually doesn't go away unless you try to not notice it. Using devices to muffle it helps or trying to not hear it is the best way to learn how not to deal with it. Research is discovering the W's of what it is and the hows to treating it but there is no magic wand to get rid of it. A symptom of phantom noise your brain is tell you there is sound there when there is none. Just like when you have a amputated foot and you feel like you still have the foot but it's not there any longer. Check this out… https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes/syc-20350156

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@shlopf

I just received my hearing aid for my left ear r/t tinnitus. I have only had it for about a week but have not noticed any reduction in the tinnitus. Does anyone know how long it takes to see/hear results?

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Seeking information on tinnitus? Tinnitus was the research symposium topic at the 2020 national HLAA convention, which was held virtually. There was a lot of information shared at the event besides on tinnitus. Attendance was open to anyone interested, and over 2000 people did participate. The link of the proceedings is now posted on the HLAA website. You'll find the information here: https://www.hearingloss.org/programs-events/convention/experience-hlaa/ The annual convention is always amazing and well worth attending. A bit different when held online, as meeting these amazing people in person is so special. Thanks to HLAA for making it open to anyone with interest. We hope the 2021 national HLAA convention will be held in San Diego as planned.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @gyro, welcome! You've come to the right place to get information, tips and experiences from people who also have hearing loss and tinnitus. To start, I'm bringing @sharieberts @julieo4 @dsh33782 @bobbyboomer @devay @hearingpeg @mikepa @bookysue @nurseheadakes and @tonyinmi into this discussion. I'm sure others will join too.

Here are related discusions you may also be interested in:
– What's One Thing You'd Change in Getting Hearing Aids? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/one-thing-to-change/
– What to Expect at Your Hearing Aid Fitting
– When to replace hearing aids https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/when-to-replace-hearing-aides/ https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-to-expect-at-your-hearing-aid-fitting/
– Do hearing aids damage ears? Is the helping hurting in the long run? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/do-hearing-aids-damage-ears-is-the-helping-hurting-in-the-long-run/

Gyro, did your audiologist explain why she believe over the ear type of aids would be best for you?

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My audiologist advised me that over-the-ear hearing aids were rechargeable whereas in-the-ear types required changing batteries often. This was a deciding factor for me. There may other advantages to over-the-ear types that I don't recall. I wonder if others know other benefits of over-the-ear aids?

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@tarheel

My audiologist advised me that over-the-ear hearing aids were rechargeable whereas in-the-ear types required changing batteries often. This was a deciding factor for me. There may other advantages to over-the-ear types that I don't recall. I wonder if others know other benefits of over-the-ear aids?

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@tarheel, I'm not certain but I do not believe your audiologist is giving you the right information. I say this only because I've seen the ads for Eargo, an in-the-ear, product that is rechargeable. However, I have not researched how long these can be worn before needing a recharge.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@tarheel, I'm not certain but I do not believe your audiologist is giving you the right information. I say this only because I've seen the ads for Eargo, an in-the-ear, product that is rechargeable. However, I have not researched how long these can be worn before needing a recharge.
Tony in Michigan

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Hmmm…it would seem that in-the-ear aids provide more direct sound. When my hearing took a big downturn, the woman I see at Costco replaced the dome (in the ear) with a larger one that sent more sound directly into my ear…and it worked extremely well. Further, I only need to change batteries about once a week. There are many warnings over a period of two hours, so I'm never caught short. In addition, you can buy six packs of eight batteries (48 total) at Costco for $8.99–that's almost a year's supply!

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@tarheel

My audiologist advised me that over-the-ear hearing aids were rechargeable whereas in-the-ear types required changing batteries often. This was a deciding factor for me. There may other advantages to over-the-ear types that I don't recall. I wonder if others know other benefits of over-the-ear aids?

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Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids have a bit more space in them, so they can contain options that in the ear (ITE) hearing aids cannnot. Not sure, but I think there are a few ITE style hearing aids that are re chargeable, but some may not have other features you would want to have. Your audiologist is giving you good advice based on your specific needs.

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@joyces

Hmmm…it would seem that in-the-ear aids provide more direct sound. When my hearing took a big downturn, the woman I see at Costco replaced the dome (in the ear) with a larger one that sent more sound directly into my ear…and it worked extremely well. Further, I only need to change batteries about once a week. There are many warnings over a period of two hours, so I'm never caught short. In addition, you can buy six packs of eight batteries (48 total) at Costco for $8.99–that's almost a year's supply!

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This all depends on the fitting. Ear molds and domes are two different things. Many BTE hearing aids use ear molds that are custom made specifically for a person's ear. The domes are less conforming. I don't believe that ITE hearing aids provide 'more direct sound'. I have a BTE with a custom ear mold. It's a power aid by Widex. I generally get 10 -12 days from one battery. One caution about buying batteries in large quantities. They do expire. Be sure to check the expiration date on the package. Expired batteries can lose considerable power.

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@tarheel @joyces @julieo4 I haven't seen this discussed in the comparison of ITE and BTE HA's. When my loss went past Moderate 5 years ago, I was told I could no longer use ITE as I needed more power. The ITE's have a limit on how much you can crank them up before you get a lot of feedback from them. So I've been with rechargeable BTE's since. I have a custom mold in one ear as it is oddly shaped and doesn't hold domes without slipping out and causing feedback. Custom mold works great.

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Think about it. Custom ear molds require perfect fitting for the individual's ear, along with a bit more work from the person fitting the hearing aid. They have to be cast perfectly, kind of like a dental inlay, to fit right. Sometimes they need a few tiny alterations during fitting. Domes are a whole different, one size fits all, kind of connector. They don't always fit tight, and that can cause feedback. They also have to be changed fairly often. Some of the new hearing aids have different types of 'receivers', so may require the dome fitting. Most of those are not power aids for more severe hearing loss. I tried one last time I purchased a hearing aid and found it didn't work for me. We are all different. Our ear canals are unique, as is our hearing loss. My audiologist's have always been willing to take the time needed to fit me correctly. So important, and I appreciate that.

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I'm a little suspicious of anyone selling an aid that will "reduce tinnitus." Think about it: tinnitus appears when we lose hearing. The more hearing we lose, the more/louder T we have. I doubt that ANY aid actually reduces tinnitus…but, any aid that brings more sound in, should reduce (or make less noticeable) tinnitus. During the year that I was virtually deaf, I had tinnitus so loud that it woke me up during the night, had screaming daytime levels. As soon as I got on the right program of meds (hormones) and my hearing returned to the level where it had been a couple of year ago, the tinnitus became almost quiet. That is, I no longer really notice it, even though I now have it in both ears–different kind of noise in each. Perhaps we should concentrate on getting the aid that produces the best sound, and less (or less noticeable) tinnitus will be the result. Masking machines simply replace the tinnitus with a different noise, one that is less bothersome, but, still, noise. I wonder if people with normal hearing actually have some background tinnitus, but never "hear" it–that is, they never notice it because their brains are busy interpreting the sounds they want to hear, like conversation. I know that, except when someone mentions tinnitus, I don't even realize it's there now that I have some hearing in one ear again.

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