Most estimates put the amount of individuals impacted by tinnitus in the millions or about one out of every seven people. In a few countries, the numbers are even higher and that’s pretty startling.
Sometimes tinnitus is temporary. But in those cases where buzzing, ringing, or humming in your ears is difficult to get rid of, finding a reliable treatment can very quickly become a priority. Fortunately, there is a remedy that has proven to be rather effective: hearing aids.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are connected but separate conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with average hearing or to experience hearing loss without also getting tinnitus. But the two conditions occur together frequently enough that hearing aids have become a practical solution, managing hearing loss and ending tinnitus all at once.
How Hearing Aids Can Help Tinnitus
Hearing aids have, based on one study, been documented to give tinnitus relief to up to 60% of participants. For 22% of those individuals, the relief was considerable. However, hearing aids aren’t made specifically to handle tinnitus. Association seems to be the main reason for this benefit. As such, hearing aids appear to be most effective if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how tinnitus symptoms can be decreased with hearing aids:
- Everything gets a little bit louder: The volume of some of the frequencies of the world become quieter when have hearing loss. The ringing in your ears, in that situation, is much more obvious. Hearing loss is not reducing the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. The ringing or buzzing that was so obvious will be masked when your hearing aid enhances the external sound. Tinnitus becomes less of an issue as you pay less attention to it.
- It becomes less difficult to engage in conversations: Modern hearing aids are particularly good at identifying human speech and amplifying those sounds. This means carrying on a conversation can become much easier once you’re routinely using your devices. You can keep up with the story Carl is telling at the restaurant or listen to what Sally is excited about at work. The more you interact with other people, the more social you are, the less you’ll notice your tinnitus. Sometimes, tinnitus is worsened by stress so being able to socialize can helps in this way too.
- The enhanced audio stimulation is keeping your brain fit: When you experience hearing loss, those portions of your brain charged with interpreting sounds can often suffer from stress, fatigue, or atrophy. Using a hearing aid can keep the audio regions of your brain limber and healthy, which as a result can help minimize some tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing.
The Benefits of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are intelligent. They come with cutting edge hearing assistance algorithms and the newest technology. But the efficiency of modern hearing aids is accomplished in part because each device can be refined and calibrated on a patient-per-patient basis (they can even detect the level of background noise and automatically adjust accordingly).
Personalizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can easily be adjusted to the particular hearing levels you might have. The buzzing or humming is more likely to be successfully masked if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
What is The Best Way to End Tinnitus?
Your degree of hearing impairment will dictate what’s right for you. If you haven’t had any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatment options for your tinnitus. That could mean custom-created masking devices, medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
But, hearing aids may be able to take care of both situations if you have tinnitus and hearing loss at the same time. Treating your hearing loss with a good set of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life difficult.