How Hearing Aids Help Treat Tinnitus
In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss is present in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a strong relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think that people would be more likely to seek out treatment for one or both conditions.
But believe it or not we find the exact opposite. Of those who bypass treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they feel that nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering unnecessarily when a treatment is available that could both augment hearing and relieve tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health experts, it was found that 60 percent of patients reported some measure of tinnitus relief when using hearing aids, while 22 percent reported substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some level of relief and about 2 million would realize substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids alleviate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss brings about decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain undergoes maladaptive neurological changes that generate the perception of sound when no external sound is present.
It’s this subjective nature that makes tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures generally have little impact. There’s simply no physical tissue to repair or chemistry to influence.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adjust or reverse its response to reduced sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to normal levels of sound stimulation and at the same time supply a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For patients with hearing loss, tinnitus is more bothersome because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can disappear into the background.
On top of that, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be customized for each person.
Hearing aids, coupled with sound and behavioral therapy, are right now the best tinnitus options available. Many patients describe some extent of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Arrange an appointment today!