Hearing Aids for Ringing in the Ears?

Ringing in the ears or tinnitus is the perception of a sound (i.e. – ringing, high-pitched whining, buzzing, whistling or hissing) that does not have a corresponding external source. Although tinnitus can be a symptom of a more serious medical problem, neurological injury, earwax buildup, withdrawal from certain drugs or ear infections, the most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss. A doctor, ENT specialist or audiologist is needed to rule out potential medical or physical sources that may be causing the sounds a patient perceives.

Xino Tinnitus Hearing Aid - A new solution for ringing in the ears.

Xino Tinnitus Hearing Aid – A new solution for ringing in the ears.

Since it is a subjective irregularity, tinnitus can be difficult to measure using an objective hearing assessment. For some people, the ringing in their ears is infrequent or only produces a faint background noise. For others the condition causes a constant noise that can be so intense that the sensation can still be heard over a very loud external sound. However, many patients who suffer from the annoying condition understand all too well how debilitating tinnitus can be.

The pressing need for relief of benign conditions has led medical researchers to look for better ways to manage the otologic condition rather than cure it. As there is a high correlation between tinnitus and hearing loss, major manufacturers of assistive listening devices, such as Starkey®, have developed a tinnitus solution (Xino Tinnitus) that also functions as a high-end hearing aid, or can be configured for use as either. The state-of-the-art device features 16 adjustable frequency bands that allow the hearing specialist to create a preferred sound therapy stimulus for each patient. Additionally, the Xino Tinnitus hearing aids feature both binaural and monaural controls.

Patients use a BTE (behind the ear) hearing aid with a mini receiver-in-canal (RIC) to personalize their sound therapy stimulus independently of the amplification needed for volume control. Within a selected frequency, a hearing specialist can adjust the spectrum of noise from broadband to narrowband to tailor the results for each patient. If you sufferer from ringing in the ears, contact St. Augustine ENT to determine if you are a good candidate for a tinnitus hearing aid.

There’s a New Sheriff in Town: Introducing Visi-Pitch IV

Something really powerful has arrived in the Voice Lab at St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat. We’ve expanded our space to include the new, state-of-the-art Visi-Pitch IV—a speech therapy tool that collects, graphs, and summarizes data so that our in-house speech language pathologists can better treat you and your voice problems.

What Exactly Is Visi-Pitch IV?

The Visi-Pitch technology is known for its highly-effective visual displays that present information such as vocal pitch, amplitude, and other speech and voice-related measurements graphically and auditorially.

The visual element means that we can measure and analyze your voice and speech parameters and disabilities for future comparison and analysis following treatment at St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat. Tracking your clinical progress is easier, faster, and now, more accurate.

An important part of the Visi-Pitch that differentiates the new model from previous releases and competitors is the ability to extract objective quantitative values from vocal functions.

Looking for some plain English? The tool helps us profile your voice (for example, before and after surgery), compare it to other data, and continually track your improvement in the weeks and months during or following recovery.

The software that is used to extract these objective measurements is often praised in professional medical journals for its robustness and accuracy, superior interpretation of data, and sophistication.

Because the device allows Dr. DePasquale to compare and correlate both the visual and auditory data-mining and playback features that come with the Visi-Pitch IV, your therapy goals will become drastically easier to reach.

More Product Highlights and Features

Visi-Pitch comes with a built-in Voice Games feature that uses catchy and engaging animation to capture the attention of children who undergo speech therapy or recovery following major surgery.

The software is a fantastic tool for motivating and rewarding our children for improvements made during our sessions together, which leads to accelerated results in almost all cases.

Another important element is the high-fidelity audio playback, which enables you and the speech pathologist and Dr. DePasquale at SAENT to listen back on the work we’ve done together, helping you as patient better understand the value of the treatment.

You’ll immediately recognize obvious improvements and progress with the playback, which can help to instill a greater sense of confidence and accomplishment in your treatment processes.

A Real-Time Spectrogram is also included with the Visi-Pitch, which is a tool that gives us a three-dimensional display (e.g., a spectrogram) of speech signals.

It’s yet another way that our clinicians can analyze and assess your vocal profile. Because vocal profiles vary tremendously from patient to patient in terms of what treatment is needed, when, and how, these highly-specialized tools allow us to work much more efficiently.

The Real-Time spectrogram can also be used for articulation training and identifying causes and treatments for dysphonic voices (a voice impairment that feel or sounds breathy, hoarse, or rough).

Should You Consider Trying Visi-Pitch?

 The Visi-Pitch tool is designed for use on the following disorders and impairments, all of which we offers treatment and therapy for at SAENT:

  • Voice Disorders
  • Professional Voice
  • Accent Reduction

If you’re interested in learning more about the services we perform with the Visi-Pitch, or to schedule an appointment with our board-certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Kalpana DePasquale, please click here.

Photo attribute: rit.edu