Most estimates put the amount of individuals impacted 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 startling.
True, tinnitus isn’t always chronic. But if you’re coping with chronic tinnitus symptoms it becomes crucial to find a remedy as soon as possible. One of the most practical of such treatments is already rather common: hearing aids.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are connected but distinct conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with normal hearing or to have hearing loss without also getting tinnitus. But if you’re experiencing the two conditions simultaneously, which is pretty typical, hearing aids can treat both at the same time.
How Hearing Aids Can Treat Tinnitus
According to one study, 60% of individuals with tinnitus reported some measure of relief when they began using hearing aids. For 22% of those individuals, the relief was significant. In spite of this, hearing aids are actually designed to manage hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. Association seems to be the principal reason for this benefit. As such, hearing aids seem to be most effective if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how hearing aids can help stop tinnitus symptoms:
- External sounds are boosted: When you have loss of hearing, the volume of the world (or, at least, particular frequencies of the world) can fall away and become quieter. When that happens the ringing in your ears becomes much more obvious. Hearing loss is not affecting the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. The buzzing or ringing that was so obvious will be masked when your hearing aid enhances the external sound. As you pay less and less attention to your tinnitus, it becomes less of a problem.
- Conversations become less difficult: Modern hearing aids are particularly effective at identifying human speech and raising the volume of those sounds. So once you’re using your hearing aids on a regular basis, carrying on conversations becomes much easier. 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 healthy involved social life tinnitus can seem to disappear into the background. Socializing also helps reduce stress, which is associated with tinnitus.
- Your brain is getting an auditory workout: Hearing loss has been shown to put stress on mental function. Tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing can be reduced when the brain is in a healthy limber condition and hearing aids can help keep it that way.
The Advantages of Modern Hearing Aids
Smart Technology is incorporated into modern hearing aids. They include cutting edge hearing assistance algorithms and the newest technology. But the effectiveness of modern hearing aids is achieved in part because each device can be customized and calibrated on a patient-by-patient basis (they can even sense the level of background noise and automatically recalibrate accordingly).
Personalizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can easily be adjusted to the particular hearing levels you may have. The humming or buzzing is more likely to be effectively hidden if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
The Best Way to Get Rid of Tinnitus
This will likely depend on your level of hearing impairment. There are still treatment options for your tinnitus even if you don’t have any hearing impairment. Cognitive behavioral therapy, a custom masking device, or medication are some possible solutions.
However, if you’re one of the many individuals out there who happen to suffer from both hearing impairment and tinnitus, a pair of hearing aids could be able to do the old two-birds-one-stone thing. Treating your hearing loss with a good pair of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life difficult.