Around one out of every seven individuals are estimated to suffer from tinnitus. That puts the overall number in the millions. In a few countries, the numbers are even higher and that’s pretty alarming.
True, tinnitus isn’t always recurring. But in those instances where ringing, buzzing, or humming in your ears is hard to shake, finding an effective remedy can very quickly become a priority. Fortunately, there is a treatment that has proven to be really effective: hearing aids.
There are some connections between tinnitus and hearing loss but they are actually distinct conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with average hearing or to have hearing loss without also developing tinnitus. But if you’re experiencing the two conditions together, which is fairly typical, hearing aids can treat both at the same time.
How Can Tinnitus be Helped by Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids have, based on one study, been reported to give relief of tinnitus symptoms for up to 60% of participants. For 22% of those individuals, the relief was considerable. Despite this, hearing aids are actually made to treat hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. The benefits appear to come by association. As such, hearing aids appear to be most practical if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how tinnitus symptoms can be decreased with hearing aids:
- External sounds are enhanced: The volume of certain frequencies of the world become quieter when have hearing loss. The ringing in your ears, in that situation, is much more noticeable. Hearing loss is not affecting the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. A hearing aid can boost that ambient sound, helping to drown out the buzzing or ringing that was so prominent before. Tinnitus becomes less of an issue as you pay less attention to it.
- Conversations become less difficult: Increasing the volume of human speech is something modern hearing aids are particularly good at. This means having a conversation can be much easier once you’re routinely wearing your devices. You can follow the story Carl is telling at the restaurant or listen to what Sally is excited about at work. When you have a healthy interactive social life tinnitus can appear to fade into the background. Interacting socially also helps minimize stress, which is linked to tinnitus.
- Your brain is getting an auditory workout: Hearing loss has been confirmed to put stress on mental function. Tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing can be reduced when the brain is in a healthy pliable condition and hearing aids can help keep it that way.
The Benefits of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are smart. They include innovative hearing assistance algorithms and the latest technology. But the efficiency of modern hearing aids is attained in part because each device can be refined and calibrated on a patient-per-patient basis (sometimes, they recalibrate based on the amount of background noise).
Customizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can conveniently be adjusted to the particular hearing levels you might have. The better your hearings aid works for you, the more likely they are to help you mask the humming or buzzing from tinnitus.
The Best Way to Stop Tinnitus
This will likely depend on your degree of hearing impairment. If you haven’t experienced any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatments for your tinnitus. That could mean custom-created masking devices, medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
However, if you’re one of the many individuals 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. Stop tinnitus from making your life miserable by managing your hearing loss with a good pair of hearing aids.