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Tinnitus Technology

Tinnitus can be a debilitating problem for some. In addition to counseling as a treatment option, there is new tinnitus technology to help manage the ringing in your ears.

Apps and Sound Devices

In addition to counseling, we  recommend smart phone applications that are specifically designed for tinnitus treatment. Most of these products are relativelyre20 inexpensive and some often assist greatly with tinnitus management.  For either Apple or Android systems you can go to the applications store and obtain tinnitus applications.  Simply go to the Apple App store, or the Play  Store and put in a search for the term “tinnitus” and the various tinnitus applications will come up.  Most of these apps are designed to used with the headphones that came with your phone.  Follow the directions for the app or set up a counseling session in the clinic and we can assist you through the process.  There are also devices that work with tinnitus as well that are available either online or in stores.  For example, there is a sound pillow that either generates a soothing noise or relaxing music that can be downloaded.   Other products for tinnitus can be obtained to accommodate to the the tinnitus.   ReSound has an excellent application for tinnitus that we recommend often and its free!

 

Hearing Aids

re23When there is hearing loss present, which is often the case, hearing aids have been shown to be among the most effective means of reducing the perception of tinnitus. Hearing aids do not eliminate tinnitus, however most patients report a decrease in the loudness or disturbing quality of the tinnitus perception.  Clinical evidence shows that the use of hearing aids in tinnitus patients provides two benefits: it makes the patient less aware of the tinnitus and it improves communication by reducing the annoying sensation that sounds and voices are masked by the tinnitus. Hearing loss reduces stimulation from external sounds resulting in increased awareness of tinnitus and deprivation of input may change the function of structures of the auditory pathways. Tinnitus is often caused by expression of re22neural plasticity evoked by deprivation of auditory input. With hearing aid amplification, external sounds can provide sufficient activation of the auditory nervous system to reduce the tinnitus perception and it may elicit expression of neural plasticity that can reprogram the auditory nervous system and thereby have a long-term beneficial effect on tinnitus by restoring neural function. To obtain the best results, hearing aids should be fitted to both ears, use an open ear aid with the zenwidest amplification band, and disabled noise reducing controls. In some cases a combination device would be preferable. Most manufacturers have now included a tinnitus program in their products as part of the newest generation of hearing devices that simply is there and available if we choose to use it.  The conditions required in order to obtain good results include not only the use of devices, but above all, their adaptation to the needs of the single patient, by counseling and customization. Wearing the hearing aid must become second nature to the patient even though it is only one element of the therapy.  While most manufacturers have a tinnitus application in their hearing devices, Dr. Traynor currently likes the tinnitus applications from ReSound, and Widex.  Click here to listen to the Widex Zen sound

re19Neuromonics

  1. Personal Assessment – An assessment of the hearing and the tinnitus.  A discussion of the treatment program.re16
  2. Fitting of the Oasis Device – Based on your audiological and tinnitus profile, your Oasis™ device will be customized with your  individual prescription.
  3. Stage 1 Treatment:  Relieving the Symptoms – Stage one usually lasts for about 2 months.  This stage helps relieve symptoms so that you can begin to experience control over your tinnitus while continuing treatment.  The device is worn for at least two hours per day (or longer, if preferred or needed) during daily activities like reading, preparing meals or at the office.
  4. Stage 2 Treatment:  Breaking the Cycle – The goal of Stage Two is to help the brain develop new neural connections that allow it to filter out tinnitus sounds. When this happens, relief continues even without regular use of the Oasis™ device.  In this stage, the device is used for at least two hours per day initially. Treatment times are then gradually reduced as tinnitus disturbance lessens.  This stage of treatment typically lasts about four months.
  5. Maintenance – At the completion of a successful treatment program, your audiologist will work with you to develop a maintenance program you can use to continue to control your tinnitus on your own. Many people may not feel the need to use the device after treatment. Those who do typically use it  for short periods of time (two to four hours per week) to help them maintain the benefits achieved.

If you or a loved one experiences tinnitus or hyperacusis, contact Dr. Traynor today at 970-352-2881 or toll free 877-499-HEAR (4327).