Most estimates put the number of people impacted by tinnitus in the millions or about one out of every seven people. In some countries, the numbers are even higher and that’s pretty alarming.
Sometimes tinnitus is goes away on it’s own. But if you’re coping with chronic tinnitus symptoms it becomes crucial to find a solution as soon as you can. Luckily, there is a remedy that has proven to be really effective: hearing aids.
There are some connections between tinnitus and hearing loss but they are in fact separate conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with average hearing or to have hearing loss without also developing tinnitus. But if you’re going through the two conditions together, which is fairly common, hearing aids can treat both at the same time.
How Hearing Aids Can Treat Tinnitus
According to one survey, 60% of individuals who suffer from tinnitus observed some measure of relief when they began using hearing aids. Roughly 22% of those surveyed reported considerable relief. Despite this, hearing aids are actually designed to manage hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. Association appears to be the principal reason for this benefit. So if you have tinnitus and hearing loss then that’s when your hearing aids will most effectively treat the tinnitus symptoms.
Here’s how tinnitus symptoms can be decreased with hearing aids:
- External sounds are enhanced: When you experience hearing loss, the volume of the world (or, at least, particular wavelengths of the world) can fall away and become quieter. When that happens the ringing in your ears becomes much more obvious. It’s the loudest thing you’re hearing because it is not decreased by your hearing loss. A hearing aid can increase that ambient sound, helping to mask the ringing or buzzing that was so prominent before. As you tune out your tinnitus, it becomes less of an issue.
- It gets easier to have conversations: Amplifying human speech is something contemporary hearing aids are particularly good at. This means carrying on a conversation can become much easier once you’re routinely wearing your devices. You can follow the story Carl is telling at happy hour or listen to what Sally is excited about at work. When you have a balanced involved social life tinnitus can seem to fade into the background. Sometimes, tinnitus is intensified by stress so being able to socialize can helps in this way also.
- Your brain is getting an auditory workout: Hearing loss has been confirmed to put a strain on cognitive function. Using a hearing aid can keep the audio centers of your brain limber and healthy, which in turn can help decrease some tinnitus symptoms you might be experiencing.
The Advantages of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are intelligent. To some degree, that’s because they feature the latest technologies and hearing assistance algorithms. But the effectiveness of modern hearing aids is attained in part because each device can be customized and calibrated on a patient-per-patient basis (sometimes, they recalibrate according to the amount of background noise).
Personalizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can easily be calibrated to the particular hearing levels you may have. The humming or buzzing is more likely to be successfully obscured 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 level of hearing loss. If you haven’t had any hearing loss, you’ll still have available treatments for your tinnitus. That could mean custom-created masking devices, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or medication.
However, if you’re one of the many people out there who happen to suffer from both hearing impairment and tinnitus, a set of hearing aids might be able to do the old two-birds-one-stone thing. Stop tinnitus from making your life difficult by treating your hearing loss with a good set of hearing aids.