Most estimates put the number of individuals affected by tinnitus in the millions or around one out of every seven people. In some countries, the numbers are even higher and that’s pretty startling.
True, tinnitus isn’t always chronic. But if you’re dealing with persistent tinnitus symptoms it becomes imperative to find a solution as soon as you can. One of the most effective of such remedies is already rather common: hearing aids.
There are some links between hearing loss and tinnitus but they are in fact distinct conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with normal hearing or to experience hearing loss without also developing tinnitus. But both conditions occur together frequently enough that hearing aids have become a dependable solution, managing hearing loss and ending tinnitus in one fell swoop.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed by Hearing Aids?
According to one survey, 60% of people who suffer from tinnitus reported some measure of relief when they started using hearing aids. For 22% of those people, the relief was significant. However, hearing aids are not manufactured specifically to treat tinnitus. The benefits appear to come by association. As such, hearing aids appear to be most effective if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how hearing aids can help reduce tinnitus symptoms:
- External sounds are enhanced: The volume of certain frequencies of the world become quieter when you are suffering from hearing loss. The ringing in your ears, then, is much more noticeable. 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 buzzing or ringing that was so forefront before. Tinnitus becomes less of an issue as you pay less attention to it.
- Conversations become less difficult: Modern hearing aids are particularly effective at identifying human speech and amplifying those sounds. So once you’re using your hearing aids regularly, carrying on conversations becomes a lot easier. You will be more engaged with your co-worker’s story about their children and better able to participate with your spouse about how their day went. The more you connect with others, the more social you are, the less you’ll detect your tinnitus. Interacting socially also helps reduce stress, which is related to tinnitus.
- Your brain is getting an auditory workout: When you have 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 in turn can help reduce some tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing.
Modern Hearing Aids Come With Several Advantages
Smart Technology is incorporated into modern hearing aids. To some extent, that’s because they integrate the newest technologies and hearing assistance algorithms. But the efficiency 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 adjust accordingly).
Customizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can effortlessly be calibrated to the specific hearing levels you may have. The humming or buzzing is more likely to be successfully hidden if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
The Best Way to Stop Tinnitus
Your level of hearing impairment will determine what’s right for you. There are still treatment options for your tinnitus even if you don’t have any hearing impairment. Medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a custom masking device are some possible options.
However, if you’re one of the many people out there who happen to have both hearing impairment and tinnitus, a set of hearing aids may be able to do the old two-birds-one-stone thing. Managing your hearing impairment with a good pair of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life miserable.