Modern Hearing Aids Help With Tinnitus

Digital program produces a more soothing sound to the brain.

After working for 40 years as a legal secretary in the Big Apple, New York native Jillian* was beginning to settle into retirement at her home near West Point when her daughter convinced her to move south.

“My daughter and son-in-law moved to Florida about five years ago,” Jillian explains. “After I retired, my daughter said, Mom, there’s no need to stay up there anymore. Sell the house, lighten the load and come on down.

Jillian arrived in Florida this past fall just in time to enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s with her family. It was during those holiday gatherings that Jillian’s daughter expressed concern about her mother’s hearing.

“I knew I had some hearing loss because I had seen an audiologist in New York a couple of years earlier who told me about it,” Jillian explains. “When my daughter suggested I should have my hearing rechecked, we started looking for an audiologist around here.”

The audiologist that Jillian decided to see is Dana Jickell, AuD, proprietor of Professional Hearing Solutions in Port Orange. Dr. Jickell, who is in her 25th year of providing care for patients with hearing loss, purchased the practice in January.

“Something our patients will notice is that we strive to maintain a family-like atmosphere here,” says Dr. Jickell, who has her daughter, Raegan Jickell, working as an audiology assistant.

Dr. Jickell and Raegan first saw Jillian in May.

That’s when Dr. Jickell discovered that, in addition to a loss of high-frequency hearing – which can prevent someone from hearing a doorbell, a child’s voice or a person talking to them in a crowded environment – Jillian also suffers from tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a symptom associated with age-related hearing loss that presents itself as a ringing or buzzing in the ears. In Jillian’s case, it created a constant cricket-like sound. There is no cure for tinnitus, but it can be managed.

The most common tinnitus management is found with hearing aids. These devices include a digital program that produces a more soothing sound to the brain. One device is the ReSound LiNX Quattro, which Dr. Jickell recommended for Jillian.

“I first wanted to see if simply fitting Jillian with hearing aids and bringing back the high frequencies would help her manage her tinnitus, because that does do it sometimes,” Dr. Jickell explains. “But after two weeks, her tinnitus had not improved.

“She still needed a little more help, so that’s when I set up what is called the tinnitus sound generator. What that does is present a more soothing sound that the brain can focus on instead of the sound that is actually presented by the tinnitus.”

For Jillian, the doctor created a subtle sound that covers the high-pitched cricket sound. It made an immediate impact on Jillian, who says she now hears things she hasn’t heard in years, such as birds and even the turn signal in her car.

“I’m a lot more engaged in conversations,” Jillian says. “I’m very thankful I found Dr. Jickell. She’s very professional and did a great job explaining everything to me. I really appreciated that and the fact she was never pushy. I definitely recommend her.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. mkb
* Patient’s name changed at her request.
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    • Professional Hearing Solutions

      At Professional Hearing Solutions, they are dedicated to improving the quality of life for their patients by helping them manage their hearing loss. Hearing loss can happen to anyone of any age. When left untreated, hearing loss, can ne... Read More

    • Dana Jickell, AuD

      Dana Jickell, AuD, has provided hearing health care for more than 25 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree and doctoral degree from the University of Florida and obtained her master’s degree from the University of Central Florida.... Read More

    • Raegan Jickell, C-AA

      Raegan Jickell, C-AA, earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in 2014. She is working toward her hearing instrument specialist license.... Read More