A new way to manage tinnitus

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

By: Dr. Andrea Federman

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"Do you hear that? It sounds like crickets but it's snowing outside - there can't be crickets!"


Has anyone ever mentioned to you that they hear noises that don't appear to be there? Noises that can range from high in pitch to low in pitch and can vary in how they sound. The medical term for this sensation is tinnitus. It occurs when you hear a sound in your ears or your head when there is no external sound present.


At least 50 million American adults suffer fr­om tinnitus. It can occur at any age and it may happen suddenly or gradually. The most common causes are noise exposure, hearing loss, head injury, and as a side effect from medication.


Tinnitus is typically a symptom, not a disease. According to the non-profit American Tinnitus Association there is no known cure for tinnitus. However, there is now a way to manage your tinnitus using the personalized sound therapy to mask or cover up your tinnitus, reduce the loudness of your tinnitus, and take the focus off of your tinnitus by using the device called Xino Multiflex developed by Starkey.



This patent-pending technology enables you and your audiologist at BayCare Clinic to customize a sound stimulus designed to counterbalance the precise sounds you hear. Since it is fine-turned to your unique needs, it is engineered to deliver all-day tinnitus relief.


The Xino Tinnitus process


Using the Xino Tinnitus is a process, it's not something you can just pick up and try out. It is tailored to your hearing and your tinnitus.



First, we need to test the hearing and determine what kind of hearing loss you have, if any. Next, we do a tinnitus search in order to match the pitch of your tinnitus and its loudness. This gives us a better idea of where you are hearing the tinnitus and which area we need to work with when programming the Xino Tinnitus.



Once you are fit with the Xino Tinnitus instrument we recommend you wear it for a few weeks. When you return for your recheck appointment we can make minor adjustments as needed. Since everyone has a different perception of their tinnitus it can be hard to describe to someone else exactly what it is you are hearing. In addition, it can make it difficult to explain how you want it adjusted. For this reason, Starkey developed Sound Point to help with adjusting the instrument. Sound Point allows you to make changes in how the Xino Tinnitus sounds and "pin" it when it sounds good to you. You can pick multiple "pins" to compare and contrast, much like an eye exam.



When you find one that sounds best you can "star" it and the instrument automatically reprograms and adjusts the settings. This allows you to be more involved in the minor adjustments we make without the frustration of trying to explain what you want it to sound like.


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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.