Hearing loss and tinnitus

Posted by brianhd0821 @brianhd0821, Sep 12 5:10pm

I recently went to my local ENT and audiologist for a check on my hesring. My left ear has moderate hearing loss due to cell damage. I have crazy irritating tinnitus that is keeping me up at night sometimes. Being a truck driver and a motorcycle rider, I feel like I have to make a drastic change in life. I went down a rabbit hole though searching online. I saw that stem cells can play a big part in the regrowth of the damaged hair cells. I am just trying to stay positive because this just came out of nowhere. Did anyone hear about the stem cell stuff like I did? Is it in the works at MayoClinic?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

I have had tinnitus for about 30 years and would love to know whether stem cell therapy works for tinnitus. My tinnitus is as a result of noise induced trauma. I had always heard that the hair cells were not able to regenerate in mammals. Birds on the other hand can regenerate damaged hair cells. Makes sense because in nature birds need to hear birdsong to attract a mate and ensure the reproduction necessary to maintain the species. Nature can be so clever. Why can’t it help us.

REPLY

I too have had tinnitus for over 30 years. In the beginning the doctors knew little about it and told me to just hope that it goes away…which it
never does…I have research many articles on tinnitus and there is just no cure for it…I am hoping too that something can be done but no miracle cure is likely..

REPLY

The Hearing Health Foundation is currently supporting research on tinnitus. There is hope, but it's been a long time coming. You may want to check out the information at: http://www.hearinghealthfoundation.org

Sensorineural hearing loss is often accompanied by tinnitus, and yet some people who have tinnitus do not have hearing loss. It continues to be a mystery, but we can be hopeful this may change in the future. The advancements in hearing technology have been amazing in the past couple of decades. It really a relatively new science that wasn't given much attention until the 1990s. Let's keep our fingers crossed that good things will develop.

REPLY

And let’s hope that insurance will start to see hearing aids and hearing loss treatment therapies as necessary benefits. Does anyone know how to champion that cause? I’d be all in for that!

REPLY
@lsammartino

And let’s hope that insurance will start to see hearing aids and hearing loss treatment therapies as necessary benefits. Does anyone know how to champion that cause? I’d be all in for that!

Jump to this post

Check out the Hearing Loss Association of America Inc. http://www.hearingloss.org It is a consumer based organization. This is a huge issue. HLAA is our advocate. If more people would get involved in HLAA, the organization could do much more than it has done.

We have seen change in this area, but it's slow going. The 'over the counter' hearing aids (OTC) that were recently approved should be on the market in mid to late October. While this type of hearing aid will not help people with severe/profound hearing loss, it will help many who have mild/moderate hearing loss.

One huge point in advocacy is awareness of research at major research bodies that now associates untreated hearing loss with cognitive decline. That has begun to get mental healthcare providers to start promoting hearing health.

The age-old, ridiculous stigmas about hearing loss have created barriers to treatment for millions of people. That has also kept people with hearing loss from becoming their own advocates.

It's the hard of hearing population that has to get on this. The culturally Deaf population chooses not to use personal technology, and while they are a tiny piece of the entire population with hearing loss, they are very vocal about discounting research in technology and medicine and promoting manual communication as a norm.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are nearly 50 million Americans who experience hearing loss. Fewer than 2 million of that number are of Deaf culture. How can we get more people actively involved in advocacy?

REPLY
@julieo4

Check out the Hearing Loss Association of America Inc. http://www.hearingloss.org It is a consumer based organization. This is a huge issue. HLAA is our advocate. If more people would get involved in HLAA, the organization could do much more than it has done.

We have seen change in this area, but it's slow going. The 'over the counter' hearing aids (OTC) that were recently approved should be on the market in mid to late October. While this type of hearing aid will not help people with severe/profound hearing loss, it will help many who have mild/moderate hearing loss.

One huge point in advocacy is awareness of research at major research bodies that now associates untreated hearing loss with cognitive decline. That has begun to get mental healthcare providers to start promoting hearing health.

The age-old, ridiculous stigmas about hearing loss have created barriers to treatment for millions of people. That has also kept people with hearing loss from becoming their own advocates.

It's the hard of hearing population that has to get on this. The culturally Deaf population chooses not to use personal technology, and while they are a tiny piece of the entire population with hearing loss, they are very vocal about discounting research in technology and medicine and promoting manual communication as a norm.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are nearly 50 million Americans who experience hearing loss. Fewer than 2 million of that number are of Deaf culture. How can we get more people actively involved in advocacy?

Jump to this post

I like your final question. How can we get more people involved in advocacy? For me, the hardest part of hearing loss has been finding myself thrust into a position of needing to self advocate for my new needs. I’m not the type of person who was comfortable taking a lead or speaking up before hearing loss, so this is a complete 180 for me. Thankfully, I became aware of this during my participation in aural rehab. Mind you, I had to fight for aural rehab after my CI surgery because it wasn’t the standard. I think part of the problem is we don’t even know what we need or what to ask for in the beginning stages. Slowly I’m beginning to learn what I need. I’m paying better attention to my body as I learn to befriend my hearing loss, integrating it into my new normal. And hopefully, in time, I’ll learn to better advocate. But honestly, I think the journey is slow. It can be overwhelming, especially after sudden hearing loss. Having moved through the grief part, I’m now in a better position to begin the task of advocacy. Thanks for the good information. Best to you.

REPLY
@lsammartino

And let’s hope that insurance will start to see hearing aids and hearing loss treatment therapies as necessary benefits. Does anyone know how to champion that cause? I’d be all in for that!

Jump to this post

@lsammartino Before my husband retired and we were on his company's insurance they covered $1000 a year towards hearing aids. Twice when I got new hearing aids I got one the last week in December and the second one in January. It still didn't cover the whole cost but it sure was helpful. It's too bad more companies and Medicare do not cover HAs.
JK

REPLY
@julieo4

Check out the Hearing Loss Association of America Inc. http://www.hearingloss.org It is a consumer based organization. This is a huge issue. HLAA is our advocate. If more people would get involved in HLAA, the organization could do much more than it has done.

We have seen change in this area, but it's slow going. The 'over the counter' hearing aids (OTC) that were recently approved should be on the market in mid to late October. While this type of hearing aid will not help people with severe/profound hearing loss, it will help many who have mild/moderate hearing loss.

One huge point in advocacy is awareness of research at major research bodies that now associates untreated hearing loss with cognitive decline. That has begun to get mental healthcare providers to start promoting hearing health.

The age-old, ridiculous stigmas about hearing loss have created barriers to treatment for millions of people. That has also kept people with hearing loss from becoming their own advocates.

It's the hard of hearing population that has to get on this. The culturally Deaf population chooses not to use personal technology, and while they are a tiny piece of the entire population with hearing loss, they are very vocal about discounting research in technology and medicine and promoting manual communication as a norm.

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are nearly 50 million Americans who experience hearing loss. Fewer than 2 million of that number are of Deaf culture. How can we get more people actively involved in advocacy?

Jump to this post

Hearing loss is so complicated and so diverse. It does take energy and commitment to get proper testing and diagnosis and then acquire workable hearing aids or surgery for CIs, getting adjusted to the new way of hearing. Thankfully there are additional assistive devices can improve hearing yet finding and trying them out is another major achievement. The technology can be challenging not to mention expensive. At this point audiologist practices are not really providing the counseling to bridge these gaps, but volunteers at HLAA can really help.

Advocacy is a huge issue that all of us with hearing loss need to take on because of its invisibility for most of us. Its not easy but it is gratifying to be able to speak out, ask for help and perhaps change ideas about hearing loss in the every day aspects of our lives like the library, the doctor's office, the supermarket, at social dinners and so on. People do want to help but first must to understand the problem. Advocacy can be an individual mission as well as shared as part of a group like HLAA. Given our huge numbers we can achieve greater understanding in the general public, and accommodation of hearing loss in public spaces. It is a big challenge to speed up the impact of advocacy but we can do it!

REPLY

You are absolutely right on with everything you say here. There is so little knowledge about assistive listening technology, and it's really sad that the people who sell hearing aids don't take time to explain it and DEMONATRATE it. We spend thousands of dollars to get hearing help. WE WANT TO HEAR everything we can possibly hear. Assistive tech can go a long way in enhancing our hearing aids and cochlear processors.

HLAA chapters need to be loudly vocal about this. There should be assistive technology demo centers out there. A place where we can go to try out products before we purchase them. Some definitely work better than others. But when we don't advocate for ourselves no one pays much attention. Yes, we can do it!

We have been successful in this area in Wisconsin. There are a couple demo centers in the state. We have succeeded in getting some of the Independent Living Centers to loan assistive devices. The tough part is that they need updating fairly regularly. The tech gets old.

The one that is very old but is not outdated is the hearing loop. It can be used in so many ways. Again, it's a matter of being educated by someone whom you trust before you buy into it.

Do you have a demo center in your area?

REPLY

No idea if we have a demo center in Pittsburgh but it sure sounds like a good idea. I’ve worked with quite a few audiologists the past few years. None have ever mentioned this so I doubt it. Also, I became SSD during lockdown in the pandemic so as far as connecting with help in community, that was a bust unfortunately. Our HLAA chapter has only begun to meetup recently again and only using zoom. I just signed up for my first one this coming Thursday eve. Looking forward to finding ways to build my advocacy skills. Thank you.

REPLY
@julieo4

You are absolutely right on with everything you say here. There is so little knowledge about assistive listening technology, and it's really sad that the people who sell hearing aids don't take time to explain it and DEMONATRATE it. We spend thousands of dollars to get hearing help. WE WANT TO HEAR everything we can possibly hear. Assistive tech can go a long way in enhancing our hearing aids and cochlear processors.

HLAA chapters need to be loudly vocal about this. There should be assistive technology demo centers out there. A place where we can go to try out products before we purchase them. Some definitely work better than others. But when we don't advocate for ourselves no one pays much attention. Yes, we can do it!

We have been successful in this area in Wisconsin. There are a couple demo centers in the state. We have succeeded in getting some of the Independent Living Centers to loan assistive devices. The tough part is that they need updating fairly regularly. The tech gets old.

The one that is very old but is not outdated is the hearing loop. It can be used in so many ways. Again, it's a matter of being educated by someone whom you trust before you buy into it.

Do you have a demo center in your area?

Jump to this post

Thank you! I never heard of a ‘demo center!’. I live in RI and not aware of any but maybe Boston has one. I”m wondering how hearing-loss college students are helped, or are they not likely to apply. What an awful thought!

REPLY

I’ve joined this group today & have tinnitus. Believe the ringing in my right ear started when I was 40 & now I’m 85. Started seeing a doctor who gave me ointment to put in my ear & ended up completely losing my hearing. At that time I worked in a sound proof room using a computer & I truly believe this started my hearing loss. The doctor I was seeing became very angry with me & said I did not put the ointment in correctly. That I was supposed to have somebody put the ointment in the ear. I had put the ointment in correctly!
I was very upset with him & saw another doctor who gave me ear drops that helped. However, I believe that is when my ear started ringing & is still loudly ringing today.
Years later I moved to Ohio & went to the Cleveland Clinic in their Solon facility. As I read in the other commends they had a demo center. They gave me a hearing test & loaned me a hearing aid. Unfortunately it only magnified the ringing sound, so I took the hearing aid back. Later I had a hearing test for my left ear but, again the hearing aid they loaned me only picked up the ringing noise being made in my right ear. So I ended up returning both of the loaned hearing aids that were free of charge. I’m not sure if Cleveland Clinic still offers a demo center as it has been so long ago. Today my ear seems to be ringing very loudly & it is bugging me. It may be because I’m anxious!
I have Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so I battle pain & fatigue
24/7, the ringing in my ear, etc. I just muddle through & try to be happy for my loved ones. As for me & only me, I feel that most of my illnesses or syndromes are inherited & passed on from my Mother. I do hope & pray that they will find a cure for tinnitus.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment