Tune Out Tinnitus With Masking Program

Hearing aids provides soothing sounds to neutralize maddening sounds.

The two years that Audrey* spent teaching English at Ramstein Air Base in Germany were easily the most profitable of her career. Not only did she make more money there than she did teaching stateside, she also met her husband.

As a tinnitus sufferer herself, Dr. Breese relates well to patients such as Audrey.

“He was a pilot in the US Air Force,” Audrey gushes. “We’ve traveled all over the Earth together.”

The couple’s travels eventually landed them in Riverview, which became their retirement home. Unfortunately, Audrey’s retirement has been interrupted in recent years by an annoying condition called tinnitus, which is commonly referred to as ringing in the ears.

“It was awful because it was on both sides of my head, and it was so loud that I just couldn’t think,” Audrey says of the condition, which presented itself as a constant buzzing sound. “It drove me nuts, and believe me, I tried everything to get rid of it.

“I tried sleeping with a fan on because it was worse at night, but nothing worked. Sometimes it was so bad that I wanted to bury my head in a pillow to get away from it. Of course, that doesn’t work either because that buzzing sound was always there.”

Been There, Done That

When the buzzing became unbearable, Audrey began to visit nearby audiologists. After several tries, she finally found one she trusted and felt comfortable with at Hearing Aids of Sarasota, the practice of Kelly Breese, AuD.

Dr. Breese, who became the proprietor of Hearing Aids of Sarasota in November 2020, is a former competitive and professional percussionist who also has tinnitus. As a sufferer herself, she relates well to patients such as Audrey.

“Like Audrey, I’ve been through phases where I would try to read something and I couldn’t process what I was reading because the sound in my ears was so loud and bothersome,” Dr. Breese explains. “It’s a very challenging situation to be in.”

Dr. Breese further explains that tinnitus is a condition that cannot be cured. It can be managed, and after discovering that Audrey’s tinnitus was a result of age-related hearing loss, she developed a plan to help Audrey do just that.

The plan called for Audrey to be fit with hearing aids that included a tinnitus masker, a controllable program that neutralizes tinnitus by providing the wearer with a soothing alternate sound that takes the brain’s focus off the noise caused by the tinnitus.

Audrey’s masking program was initially set to provide the faint sound of an ocean breeze. During her first week wearing the hearing aids, Audrey found she didn’t need the masker after all.

“With some patients, the return of natural sound to the brain is enough to neutralize the tinnitus,” Dr. Breese educates. “That’s what happened with Audrey, and it’s been a total game-changer for her.”

Audrey concurs. She says the hearing aids have not only neutralized her tinnitus, but in doing so also vastly improved her quality of life. Those are just two reasons she thinks so highly of Dr. Breese and gladly recommends her to others.

“Dr. Breese is so caring and kind, and I think the world of her,” Audrey concludes. “She is someone you can trust to do the best for you, and that’s why I travel all the way from Riverview to Sarasota to see her. Because I trust her.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. js
*Patient’s name changed at her request.

 

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    • Hearing Aids of Sarasota

      Hearing Aids of Sarasota want to be your anchor in all hearing healthcare needs. Dr. Kelly Breese will provide honest, caring, patient-centered, evidence-based, up-to-date treatment and education.... Read More

    • Kelly Breese, AuD

      Kelly Breese, AuD, is a board-certified doctor of audiology who specializes in the treatment of hearing loss and tinnitus and is fluent in American Sign Language. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 2011 and her ... Read More