Most modern hearing aid brands have tinnitus features that come standard in their technology. Some have a white or pink type noise, some have soft chimes, and some have environmental sounds (ocean waves, etc.). Check out Widex, ReSound, Starkey, Phonak, Oticon, and Signia (Siemens). The tinnitus features often come in different styles of hearing aids from each company (receiver-in-canal, custom, or traditional behind-the-ear).
Hearing aids have a trial period of at least 30 days, so if you try a product from one manufacturer and dislike it, you will be able to exchange it during that trial period. Your hearing healthcare professional will be able to work with you on this.
To echo what others have said here most hearing instruments have tinnitus maskers these days & amplification alone may provide sufficient masking effect that a masker isn't required.
What hasn't been mentioned is testing. If you simply carry out audiometry & the patient requires masking, what frequency needs masking? How loud is your tinnitus? A tinnitus audiometer can provide far more information than the programming software's best guess. I believe a hearing aid will only perform as well if the information fed into it is accurate.
So seek out a professional with the right equipment, experience & success in this area. Not a prerequisite but if they have tinnitus themselves they are likely to be able to tell you which devices they have had success with.
Starkey hearing aids all have wonderful tinnitus features. We are having great sucess with treat patients and helping releave ringing, buzzing or fluttering in their ears. If anyone promises to have a solution please move on to the next specialist. Nobody can promise anything when it comes to tinnitus but we are better understanding how to work with it. We want everyone who is having trouble to talk with one of our hearing specialist about possible treatment. Other hearing aid manufactures also have technology such as Phonak, Unitron, and Resound.
All of the major manufacturers have a solution for tinnitus built into their products at a variety of technology levels. In many instances, the hearing aid alone can be an effective masker. As far as which product is best, you should put your trust in the audiologist. Every provider has their expertise with particular manufacturers.
As others have indicated, there are many hearing aid options to assist with tinnitus. In fact, we find that utilizing appropriately fit hearing aid technology alone can assist with tinnitus in 50-60% of cases where there is underlying hearing loss. In cases where amplification alone does not provide enough benefit for tinnitus, then it can be helpful to utilize additional options built into the hearing aid to assist. We have the best success with Widex Zen but have also used ReSound's tinnitus sounds in some cases with success. The most critical component for you would be to find an audiologist who understands hearing loss and tinnitus, is compassionate, patient, and knowledgeable to help guide you. Doing this on your own without the guidance of a trusted professional can be overwhelming. A diagnostic hearing examination, tinnitus assessment, and consultation would be the first important step and in some cases a medical referral may be necessary.
Most of the major manufacturers now include some form of tinnitus masking as a built-in feature of the majority of their models. Tinnitus masking uses a selection of different types of noise that can be adjusted by pitch and volume to best suit individual patients. Some masking also uses modulation of the sound volume that may make it more effective. Signia (formerly known as Siemens) has a new tinnitus feature called notch therapy that may work very well for tonal tinnitus (steady tone and volume all the time). Widex takes a somewhat different route with their Zen masking that uses random musical tones and notes. It can be very soothing for some patients. The important thing to remember is that masking for tinnitus is still very much a trial and error process and there is no guarantee that it will have any effect on the tinnitus. That being said there are many patients who do experience varying degrees of relief from tinnitus by using masking in some form. Find a provider who offers unlimited office visits for the life of the hearing aid and who is willing to take the time to experiment and find out what type of masking might work best for you.
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