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How my Hearing Aids Have Helped my Tinnitus

Trond wears hearing aids to help with his tinnitus
It was in 2009 that he first heard it. A strong, persistent howl in his ears, but he had no idea where it came from. Could there be anything wrong with the fridge? He searched the house without finding what was causing the noise.

Soon after, 49-year-old Trond Simonsen learned he has tinnitus, a persistent ringing sound in his ear. The constant sound is exhausting, makes it difficult to sleep, and prevents you from hearing everyday sounds. There is no cure, but there are good tools to help you hear well and highlight the sounds you want to focus on. Simonsen realized that wearing hearing aids could help his tinnitus.

With modern hearing technology and his own methods, he is confident that he always hears what is said around him. Now he lives a relaxed and active life and regards his tinnitus as a loyal friend who is always there.

Going Back to Work with Confidence

Simonsen lives an active life with his family every day. He has two jobs. One job is in the health care sector and one as head of a housing association. In addition to that, he has a number of different board assignments which he uses to give others with hearing loss the same chance to hear well, just like himself. Thanks to hearing technology.

“Without my hearing systems, I wouldn’t have been able to be so active, with two different jobs and all my board assignments,” says Simonsen.

Simonsen wears Phonak Marvel hearing aids and uses a Phonak Roger microphone to help with his tinnitus and hearing loss.

“The Phonak Marvel hearing aids and the Roger products are modern, the technology is so good that I have a more relaxed everyday life,” Simonsen explains how his hearing technology fits into his lifestyle. “Everything just works, wirelessly, no matter where and when I need to use the equipment.”

“The Phonak Marvel hearing aids and the Roger products are modern, the technology is so good that I have a more relaxed everyday life.”

At work, he uses a Roger Table Mic II to hear well in meetings or in individual conversations. In a meeting situation where several people are discussing around a table, the table microphone is placed in the middle of the table. Sound and speech from the people around the table are transmitted directly into the hearing aids.

He uses Marvel hearing aids with built-in RogerDirect technology, which allows Roger microphones and hearing aids to communicate directly without the need for an additional receiver.

Using Phonak Roger technology at work

Simonsen also emphasizes that Roger microphones have worked well in situations where online communication is required. While attending an online staff meeting, he connected Roger Table Mic II to the computer. He could take part in the conversation and hear clearly what everyone was saying as the sound streamed directly into his hearing aids.

“I also connect my Marvel hearing aids wirelessly to a mobile phone and can call in a simpler way than before,” he says. “My hands are free and I can do other things at the same time.”

In other situations where he has to talk to people who are in motion, Simonsen uses his Roger Pen to hear well.

“When the hearing aids are not quite enough, I connect them wirelessly to my Roger Pen; then I get a perfect one-to-one conversation, especially in the car or in different work situations,” Simonsen says.

Read more: Why I carry my Roger Select with me everywhere at work

Jumping back into his social life

In his spare time, Simonsen has always been social and enjoyed talking and socializing with others. But when he got tinnitus, his friends felt that he changed and became more withdrawn. Tinnitus is experienced very individually. Sounds are perceived differently by every person, depending on life situation and what caused the tinnitus. Simons himself describes the sound he hears as the sound of a refrigerator. His tinnitus is measured at 6000 Hz and about 45 dB.

When he went to the doctor, he first learned that the sound was caused by stress. Another doctor referred him to an audiologist who stated that he had got tinnitus. There he received hearing systems which helped him to relieve the noise he heard and which allowed him to hear well, despite the sound in his ears.

His friends have noticed afterward that he is more involved in everything they do, and that he is more present.

“The equipment helps me and others in my situation being confident to hear everything which is being said during a conversation,” Simonsen confidently says.

How to Relieve Tinnitus with Hearing Technology and Music

It is difficult to advise how to relieve tinnitus the best way. Those affected experience it in different ways, and the existing technologies work differently for each person.

“For me, it helps to listen to music and to be in places with a little background noise in order to handle my tinnitus in everyday life,” he says. “It’s nice to be by the sea and hear the sound of the waves. The frequency of the waves goes perfectly along with my tinnitus.”

When Simonsen listens to music, he streams the sound directly into his hearing aids. If he wants to watch TV, he plugs in his TV Connector and gets a great sound right into the ears. He says it makes the TV experience even better and adds:

“The sound is actually better than it was before I had a hearing loss because it is so much clearer,” Simonsen shares.

Simonsen also points out that his hearing aids are good at capturing external sounds that place his tinnitus in the background while the sounds he wants to hear are highlighted.

Read more: Tinnitus

Life Wearing Hearing Aids

He thinks about the reaction he gets when people learn that he uses hearing aids. Many do not believe that he is wearing hearing aids because they are not visible, the equipment is so small and simple.

When he helps as a volunteer informing others about hearing aids, he often hears others who are afraid of hearing aids say that “it is easy for you as a salesperson to talk about this, you don’t have to use hearing aids.”

Explaining why hearing aids help with tinnitus

Then he removes his own little hearing aids, showing that he is also a hearing aid user and not a salesperson. By helping to inform others about hearing aids, he also helps others being proactive to get hearing aids and assistive listening devices they may need. Simonsen knows which opportunities he was given to live the active life he wants.

“Being able to talk to a person, using a microphone to hear what that person is saying, is worth everything”, he concludes.

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The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill von Bueren, Kirsten Brackett and Lisa Goldstein.
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The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill von Bueren, Kirsten Brackett and Lisa Goldstein.