Most estimates put the number of people affected 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 alarming.
True, tinnitus isn’t always chronic. But if you’re dealing with persistent tinnitus symptoms it becomes imperative to find a remedy as soon as possible. One of the most beneficial of such remedies is already quite common: hearing aids.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are related but separate conditions. you can have hearing loss without tinnitus or tinnitus without hearing loss. But the two conditions coexist often enough that hearing aids have become a dependable solution, managing hearing loss and ending tinnitus in one fell swoop.
How Can Tinnitus be Treated by Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 60% of individuals with tinnitus reported some measure of relief when they began using hearing aids. Roughly 22% of everyone surveyed reported considerable relief. But, hearing aids aren’t made specifically to handle tinnitus. The benefits appear to come by association. As such, hearing aids seem to be most effective if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how tinnitus symptoms can be decreased with hearing aids:
- Everything gets slightly louder: When you experience loss of hearing, the volume of the world (or, at least, specific frequencies of the world) can fade away and become quieter. The ringing in your ears, then, is a lot more noticeable. Hearing loss is not affecting the ringing so it becomes the most pronounced thing you hear. The buzzing or ringing that was so obvious will be masked when your hearing aid enhances the external sound. Tinnitus becomes less of a problem as you pay less attention to it.
- Conversations become less difficult: Amplifying human speech is something modern hearing aids are particularly good at. This means carrying on a conversation can become much easier once you’re routinely wearing your devices. You will be more engaged with your co-worker’s story about their kids and better able to participate with your spouse about how their day went. The more you socialize with other people, the more social you are, the less you’ll notice your tinnitus. In some cases, tinnitus is worsened by stress so being able to socialize can helps in this way too.
- Your brain is getting an auditory workout: When you experience hearing loss, those regions of your brain charged with interpreting sounds can frequently suffer from fatigue, stress, or atrophy. Using a hearing aid can keep the audio regions of your brain flexible and healthy, which in turn can help reduce certain tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing.
The Perks of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are smart. They come with innovative hearing assistance algorithms and the latest technology. But the efficiency of modern hearing aids is attained in part because each device can be customized and calibrated on a patient-by-patient basis (sometimes, they recalibrate according to the amount of background noise).
Customizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can easily be adjusted to the particular hearing levels you might have. The buzzing or humming is more likely to be successfully obscured if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
What is The Best Way to Get Rid of Tinnitus?
This will likely depend on your degree of hearing impairment. There are still treatment solutions for your tinnitus even if you don’t have any hearing impairment. That could mean custom-made masking devices, medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
But, if you’re one of the many individuals out there who happen to have both hearing loss and tinnitus, a pair of hearing aids could 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 difficult.