How to Treat Tinnitus with Hearing Aids
In the US, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss is present in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a strong connection between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be more likely to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the reverse. Among those who avoid 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 program exists that could both enhance hearing and relieve tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health experts, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients reported some amount of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed considerable relief.
Based on these percentages, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some degree of alleviation and about 2 million would realize significant relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss brings about decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that bring about the perception of sound when no exterior sound source is present.
It’s this very subjective feature that makes tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures typically have little impact. There’s simply no physical structure to repair or chemistry to modify.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adjust or reverse its response to diminished sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and concurrently offer a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more noticeable because the tinnitus is louder relative to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can disappear into the background.
In addition, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be tailored for each patient.
Hearing aids, coupled with sound and behavioral therapy, are at present the best tinnitus treatment options available. The majority of patients describe some amount of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Schedule an appointment today!