The Signia Notch Therapy hearing aid promises significant relief from Tinnitus, in addition to outstanding hearing aid amplification.
For decades, sufferers have been traumatized by the constant ringing noise in the ears and the effect of any therapy can sometimes be short-lived. An effective respite from this condition is welcome news.
Tinnitus is when you hear noises that are not caused by an outside source. There may be a constant or intermittent ringing, buzzing, throbbing sound in one or both ears or in the head. Clearly, this is a very annoying condition. It can occur due to many reasons including exposure to loud noise or an ear infection.
Tinnitus can be broadly grouped into two categories – tonal and non-tonal tinnitus. The former is more common where you experience a constant sound of a well-defined frequency, similar to whistling, ringing or buzzing. The non-tonal has a different pattern, with varied frequencies similar to humming, clicking and rumbling.
Tinnitus takes away the basic joy of listening, to anything that is enjoyable and enriching. Your quality of life can deteriorate and it is therefore important to seek help from a qualified audiologist.
The Signia Notch Therapy aims to solve just that. To quote the company website:
"As a leading manufacturer and innovator of hearing aids, our philosophy revolves around improving the quality of life for people with hearing difficulties, including tinnitus."
Three tinnitus therapies
The use of a hearing aid is one of the best ways to get relief from hearing conditions. For the first time, a hearing aid contains a built-in system called the Notch Therapy that is able to not only reduce the effects of tinnitus, but claim to completely remove it. The technology enables to amplify sounds and improve hearing and provide a range of solutions to alleviate the effects of tinnitus.
This is fantastic news!
To elaborate further, the Signia hearing aid provides three options for you to help with tinnitus. The first two options are based on the principle that a continuous pleasant and relaxing sound would override the rings and the buzz that you experience. Gradually, the brain ‘un-learns’ the tinnitus noise and the replaced gentle sound help you to relax and concentrate. The third option is the new technology where you can use a mobile app to teach your brain to ignore the repetitive ring.
Static noise tinnitus therapy signals – A continuous soft sound in the ear distracts you effectively from the tinnitus buzz, providing the much-needed relief. You are able to relax and enjoy life using this therapy. The hearing aid has a range of five preset signals to form a static noise, and the healthcare professional customizes the signal to your specific needs. This signal produces a sound that merges with the frequency of the tinnitus noise and quickly, you are able to hear, only the softer tune.
Ocean wave tinnitus therapy signals – A slight modification of the previous therapy, the aim of this version is to replicate the tranquil effect of the ocean sound waves to alleviate tinnitus. The experts will help you identify which one of four frequencies is the most soothing and favorable for you. Again, you will be happily distracted away from the annoying buzz in your ears and only hear the soothing ocean waves instead.
Signia Notch Therapy – If you suffer from tonal tinnitus, then the Notch Therapy is for you. This built-in therapy does not use another sound wave like the previous two. Using your hearing aid for a few weeks will potentially treat your tinnitus noticeably, without any external noise and obstruction.
This therapy is very unique. There is no external stimulation involved in this process. The Signia Notch Therapy hearing aid is all that you need, and for your audiologist to spend some time with you on a consultation to determine the exact frequency of your tonal tinnitus. Amplification of the hearing aids is done as normal to your specific hearing test, with the exception of your tinnitus frequency, which is then reduced so that it is integrated harmoniously into the overall background sound.
According to Signia, Notch therapy within their hearing aid models can reduce the effects of tinnitus and may even make it disappear completely. According to a recent study, 65 percent of patients experienced an improvement.
Continuous use of the aid for a few months will lead to relegating the tinnitus sounds into the background. The constant ring and buzz will gradually fade and the brain ‘learns’ to take no notice of tinnitus.
The Signia hearing aids are widely available in a range of small, discreet styles for every form of hearing loss. There is a model to meet your needs and it is very convenient to use. The technology can be utilized through an app on your mobile phone.
For more details on this amazing technology, see the Signia website here.
If you suffer from tinnitus, please contact us at the Tinnitus & Hearing Center of Arizona and ask for your treatment options including the Signia Notch Therapy Hearing Aid. (480) 831-6159.
Some of us experience discomfort or pain in our ears during flying. It happens mainly during ascent and descent, or if the altitude changes suddenly. It almost feels like the ear is blocked and we cannot hear properly. This phenomenon is commonly called ‘Airplane Ear’.
‘Airplane Ear’ is very common. It is usually quite moderate and fixes itself in many cases. However, it may turn severe and the pain may get worse. The pressure in the ears may resemble that of an underwater diver. Furthermore, you may experience moderate to severe hearing loss, ringing in your ear (tinnitus) or spinning sensation (vertigo). The ears may also bleed in extreme cases.
Why does it happen?
This happens because a rapid change in air pressure stretches the eardrum, suddenly.
We need to understand two aspects here. First, the structure of the ear and second, what happens to the air pressure during ascent and descent.
If we look at the structure of the ear, below, we can see a narrow passage in the inner ear called the Eustachian tube that regulates the air pressure. What we cannot see in the illustration is that this tube is connected to the nasopharynx which is a small opening where the throat and the nasal passage meet. The ear, nose, and throat are therefore connected exactly there. When the surrounding air pressure is normal, mostly on land, the tympanic membrane or the eardrum behaves normally and responds to sound and airwaves accordingly.
Air pressure and how it affects the ear
A rapid change in altitude creates an instant difference in air pressure between inside and outside the ear. When your flight takes off and the plane begins to ascend, the air pressure inside the inner ear quickly becomes greater than the outside air pressure. The eardrum then swells outward. Imagine a cake rising inside the oven while baking. This causes discomfort and you feel that your ear is ‘blocked’.
The opposite happens while landing. The pressure inside the inner ear rapidly becomes less than outside and the eardrum goes inward. Imagine a vacuum pulling in all the air that causes stretching of the eardrum and flattening of the Eustachian tube. This results in extreme discomfort and also pain.
Often, a quick swallowing or yawning action alleviates the symptoms because it allows the Eustachian tube to open up and restore the air pressure to normal levels. We feel that the ear has just ‘popped’.
Sometimes it is not that easy. It becomes more painful during descent if you have any other condition like congestion of the nose or swelling due to infection. The air gets trapped in the area behind the eardrum putting pressure on it giving rise to excruciating pain.
What can you do?
If you have any questions, you're welcome to contact us for more details at the Tinnitus & Hearing Center of Arizona at (480) 831-6159.
If you have realized that lately you're missing some words from conversations, you have to be in a quiet place to be able to clearly listen to the person talking to you, or while listening to music you feel like sound is muffled somehow, then you might be experiencing hearing loss to a certain degree. If you have decided is time to find out whether your hearing is compromised, then you may consider visiting a leading Tempe audiologist at Tinnitus & Hearing Center of Arizona, where you can get some clarity on your hearing performance and start a treatment that will be effective for your lifestyle and budget.
If you're in doubt, consider that usually people that sense a certain degree of hearing loss tend to delay their visit to a qualified doctor for as long as 10 years to get testing done, which is completely counterproductive and puts at risk the overall health of the individual as hearing loss can cause other issues on a person’s everyday life.
Taking a Hearing Test
In order to start your path for a better living and to determine if you are suffering hearing loss you must take a hearing test at an audiologist clinic (like Tinnitus and Hearing Center of Arizona). As your audiologist, we will perform hearing tests that will help determine what type of hearing loss you have and how much hearing ability has been lost .
If you have already visited an audiologist and want a second opinion, you may take an online test that The National hearing test has made available at a small cost, though not as accurate as a clinical hearing test.
Choose the right audiologist
At the Tinnitus and Hearing Center, we are very committed to helping our patients find the best way to treat their hearing problems as we offer a wide variety of hearing aid brands and other assistive pieces of technology that can help you with your current situation. You can rest assured that we have taken care of many patients that have been very satisfied with the service we have provided and how accurate and precise our approach has been.
We will have you try at least two different hearing aids (or as many you need to find the most comfortable one) in order to find the one that fits your needs perfectly. We'll also take time to fit it and find the right configuration for you as we need to make sure after you decide on one specific hearing aid to cover all your needs, that is why these have a testing period before you complete your purchase. We will set the different configurations and you will inform us which one is the best for you.
In order to find the best fitting hearing aid for you, know that the hearing aid can only do so much and realistic expectations have to be made.
For more information or to schedule an appointment contact us at (480) 831-6159 or visit our website at https://www.tinnitusaz.com/.
A start-up in Ireland has developed a totally fresh concept for treating tinnitus, and it's one that employs a fascinating technology.
Now, it hasn't come to market yet, so we can't get too excited. But know that we at Tinnitus & Hearing Center of Arizona are watching this development closely.
Most people know tinnitus as 'ringing in the ears.' Some sufferers hear a high-pitched droning noise, whereas others might describe it as more of a buzz, hiss, or whoosh. 'Tinnitus' is the formal medical terminology, but whatever you call it, it's certainly something that can wreak havoc on a person's life. They might have trouble sleeping, working, socializing, or even focusing on basic activities.
At the time of writing, no medical solution is known. On the other hand, Neuromod Devices, an Irish tech start-up, is rolling out a brand-new product that has the potential to provide breakthroughs in tinnitus treatment.
The name of the product is Mutebutton. Ross O'Neill is a neuroscientist who oversaw the development after spending six years at the Hamilton Institute at NUI Maynooth looking into a number of neuromodulation technologies prior to starting up a business in 2010.
In a little more than four short years, Neuromod Devices has plowed through the many regulatory, medical, and logistical challenges necessary. Their product is already available to those in the Irish Market.
O'Neill says that Mutebutton is a totally fresh way to treat tinnitus. Other various technologies are able to offer sufferers relief, but only when the specific devices are used. Alternatively, Mutebutton is able to generate genuine improvement in the condition of a patient.
Tinnitus happens both as a chronic condition and a temporary one. It can get induced due to underlying disease, although many times it's simply a matter of hearing loss that happens with age.
People of any age can suffer tinnitus, but adults over the age of 50 have double the odds of having it. Everyone has hair cells in their inner ears which turn physical sound waves into the neural impulses the brain uses to 'listen'. These hair cells get damaged over the passage of time.
In Ireland alone, roughly 45,000 individuals suffer from this affliction, according to the Irish Tinnitus Association.
The UK also has a similar association, projecting that 1 in 10 Brits of adult age are impacted. The association of the United States has a higher estimate of 15 percent of their population, meaning more than 20 million citizens suffer the condition to the level of being debilitated.
Tinnitus isn't just a matter of noise, either. Frequently-seen auxiliary symptoms include loss of sleep, anxiety, and even depression.
O'Neill goes on to say that he's spent almost a decade developing the treatment, and the goal was always to find something minimally invasive out of consideration to the patients. He was hopeful of avoiding implantation through surgery.
Every year across Europe and the United States, 12 million patients consult their physicians about clinically significant levels or conditions of tinnitus. Also, between aging populations and growing volumes of exposure to sounds, it's turning into a worldwide phenomenon that's anticipated to grow in the near future.
One way that tinnitus can be treated is by diverting the attention of the brain away from the sound or noise of the condition. Having said that, quite a few of the current masking devices utilized for this are unisensory and unfortunately not that effective.
Mutebutton is different, because it's a multi-sensory treatment which mixes soothing sounds along with mild stimulation of particular tongue nerves.
The mix of these two employs multi-sensory integration, which is one of the human brain's natural phenomena, so that it can learn how to better discern real sounds from fake ones.
Mutebutton has a small control unit, a tiny tongue pad, and a headphone set. Users should spend half an hour a day with it for at least 10 weeks in order to see results.
The Hermitage Clinic in Dublin carried on clinical studies in partnership with NUI Maynooth. This research demonstrated that the Mutebutton device can lower the volume of tinnitus by nearly half.
The development involved the collaboration of numerous experts. One of them was Caroline Hamilton, a tinnitus specialist and clinical audiologist. Stephen Hughes is a design engineer who also helped and also an MIT colleague of O'Neill back when he was employed there in the research department. Finally, Brendan Conlon, a senior ENT surgeon from St James's and Tallaght Hospitals helped out with contributions as well.
O'Neill claims that it's simple to make prototypes, but the real difficulty is scaling things up for high levels of manufacturing. He's happy that Mutebutton is being made in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland.
In every market, the company is using both B2B and B2C vectors. Given how very creative this device is, the public needs to learn about it, but so too do the medical community and possible distribution networks.
The company has a current emphasis on getting Mutebutton off of the ground, but that's not to say that Neuromod is a one-hit wonder.
Tinnitus is only one of many chronic conditions that creative neurostimulation technologies might be able to help out with.
Mutebutton is certainly a stable technology platform, and it might be used for quickly developing and evaluating a variety of different neuromodulatory interventions. It's a core technology that is likely to be the foundation for many new products that can provide valuable market openings due to clinical needs that aren't currently being met at a global level.
O'Neill won't get into specifics, other than to say the same technology might work in circumstances of neuro circuits 'misbehaving'. These can include situations of illusory perceptions, tremors, and spasms.
Mutebutton's development enjoyed financial support by Enterprise Ireland, the Higher Education Authority, and Science Foundation Ireland. Several million in both seed and angel capital also helped, and the company is now enjoying a positive revenue stream.
Again, this product is still in the research and development phase, but we're watching this company carefully. Feel free to contact us for updates and to discuss all your tinnitus treatment options at (480) 831-6159.
Our patient, Lt. Colonel Ralph "Slick" Aguirre, USAF (Retired) started his career in aviation flying Huey helicopters in Vietnam at the age of eighteen. He went on to fly F-15 fighter jets in the US Air Force. From there he transitioned into a civilian career in aviation flying for Southwest Airlines. The years he spent in aviation started to seriously affect his ears. The situation reached the point where he grounded himself from flying any longer, for fear it was no longer possible without causing further damage to his ears. Slick arrived at our clinic looking for any possible help. We're happy to report that we have Slick flying again and he couldn't be happier. Slick graciously offered Dr. Rohe the opportunity of a lifetime to fly in this plane as a way of saying thanks for treating his tinnitus and keeping him up in the air. He recently told Dr. Rohe that all the time he spent flying was the equivalent of three full years in the air. That is quite an accomplishment.
The plane pictured below is a Pilatu PC-7, a turboprop with 750hp. If you are a pilot or a frequent flier that suffers from tinnitus, know that with the right guidance, you can absolutely keep flying! Thank you Slick.
Dr. Rohe is a nationally-recognized audiologist specializing in Tinnitus Therapy and other hearing conditions.