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OCT

Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hearing Aids for Tinnitus

Women covers ears as she considers hearing aids for her tinnitus.

Tinnitus can be a symptom of underlying problems with hearing. Using hearing aids is thought to help tinnitus by returning normal sounds, thus diminishing the awareness of tinnitus sounds. In addition, today’s hearing aids not only help with hearing loss, but are designed specifically with listening programs that ease tinnitus. We’ve reviewed a few of these hearing aids and their features to help you get started.

Hearing aids for tinnitus provide relief by increasing sounds that distracts from the buzzing, whistling or whining noise and by adding features that help people relax. For example, Widex has developed the Zen Program, that provide relaxation programs designed to distract users from tinnitus. These programs can be used as a masking and therapy tools in conjunction with advice from a hearing health professional. For people looking for hearing aids to help with tinnitus, Widex has three family of hearing aids designed with the Zen Program: Menu, Mind, and CLEAR. Members of these families of hearing aids are reviewed below.

Widex CLEAR

Suitable for most types of hearing loss, Widex's CLEAR family of hearing aids have some unique features for people with tinnitus and hearing loss. Their FreeFocus features lets individuals hone in on sounds from certain directions without having to turn their heads. CLEAR hearing aids communicate wirelessly to each other, making listening easier and more natural sounding. Products within this family include Fusion a Behind-The-Ear model of hearing aid designed with the Zen Program of relaxation. To determine if this feature is something you'd like, you can listen to the different Zen Programs: HERE.

Widex Menu
Widex's Menu includes a Flexible Sound Platform that helps distinguish high-pitched noise, like children’s voices and beeps or alerts from appliances that might otherwise be indistinguishable in background noise. Often times people who have tinnitus have a mild form of hearing loss, one that is associated with an inability to hear these higher pitched sounds, so this feature is especially helpful for tinnitus sufferers. This hearing aid is also equipped with Zen Program and TruSound Stabilizer that makes loud sounds more comfortable and soft sounds more audible. Also included are features that improve speech understanding in noise and a feature that stops feedback whistling--a common problem in older hearing aid models. The Menu hearing aid gives you the option of adding the features you want, so it's a good choice for people who prefer to "build their own" hearing aid.

Widex Mind

Widex's The Mind™: Designed for mild to moderately severe hearing loss this hearing aid is recommended for adults as well as children and available as an In-The-Ear canal (nearly invisible). Features include the Zen relaxation and tone program, that helps the wearer manage tinnitus symptoms. SmartSpeak verbal messaging system that alerts the user when they need to do something like change the battery. It comes in three models 440/330/220. The lesser numbered model is the least expensive. All of these instruments provide an organic listening experience and digital technology, but the 440 has the most features.

It's important to treat the underlying cause of tinnitus, not just for relief of the symptom. Hearing loss, even without tinnitus, can contribute to emotional, physical, and mental decline. To find out more about these hearing aids and to have some of their features demonstrated, visit your hearing health provider. If you'd like help finding an audiologist or ENT in your area, click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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