Most estimates put the number of people affected by tinnitus in the millions or around one in every seven people. In a few countries, the numbers are even higher and that’s pretty alarming.
True, tinnitus isn’t always recurring. But in those instances where ringing, buzzing, or humming in your ears is tough to shake, finding an effective treatment can very quickly become a priority. Luckily, there is a treatment that has proven to be quite effective: hearing aids.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are connected but separate conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with average hearing or to have hearing loss without also developing tinnitus. But both conditions coexist frequently enough that hearing aids have become a practical solution, treating hearing loss and ending tinnitus in one fell swoop.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed by Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids have, according to one survey, been reported to give tinnitus relief to up to 60% of participants. For 22% of those people, the relief was considerable. Despite this, hearing aids are actually made to treat hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. The benefits appear to come by association. As such, hearing aids seem to be most practical if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how tinnitus symptoms can be reduced with hearing aids:
- Everything gets slightly louder: When you experience hearing loss, the volume of the world (or, at least, certain frequencies of the world) can fall away and become more silent. When that happens the ringing in your ears becomes a lot more obvious. Hearing loss is not reducing the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. A hearing aid can increase that surrounding sound, helping to mask the ringing or buzzing that was so forefront before. Tinnitus becomes less of a problem as you pay less attention to it.
- Conversations become easier: Amplifying human speech is something contemporary hearing aids are particularly good at. So once you’re using your hearing aids regularly, having conversations becomes a lot easier. You will be more involved with your co-worker’s story about their children and better able to participate with your spouse about how their day went. When you have a balanced involved social life tinnitus can appear to disappear into the background. Interacting socially also helps decrease stress, which is associated with tinnitus.
- Your brain is getting an auditory workout: Hearing loss has been shown to put a strain on mental function. Wearing a hearing aid can keep the audio regions of your brain limber and healthy, which in turn can help decrease certain tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing.
The Benefits of Modern Hearing Aids
Smart Technology is built into modern hearing aids. They include cutting edge hearing assistance algorithms and the latest technology. But the effectiveness of modern hearing aids is accomplished in part because each device can be customized and calibrated on a patient-per-patient basis (they can even detect the level of background noise and automatically adjust accordingly).
Customizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can conveniently be calibrated to the specific hearing levels you may have. The buzzing or humming is more likely to be effectively hidden if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
The Best Way to Stop Tinnitus
This will most likely depend on your degree of hearing loss. If you haven’t experienced any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatments for your tinnitus. Cognitive behavioral therapy, a custom masking device, or medication are some possible options.
But, hearing aids might be able to take care of both situations if you have tinnitus and hearing loss at the same time. Stop tinnitus from making your life difficult by treating your hearing loss with a good pair of hearing aids.