Around one in seven individuals are estimated to suffer from tinnitus. That puts the overall number in the millions. In some countries, the numbers are even higher and that’s pretty alarming.
Sometimes tinnitus is temporary. But in those cases where buzzing, ringing, or humming in your ears is hard to shake, finding an effective remedy can very quickly become a priority. Fortunately, there is a remedy that has proven to be really effective: hearing aids.
There are some connections between tinnitus and hearing loss but they are in fact distinct conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with average hearing or to experience hearing loss without also developing tinnitus. But if you’re experiencing the two conditions together, which is pretty common, hearing aids can handle both at the same time.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed by Hearing Aids?
According to one study, 60% of people who suffer from tinnitus observed some amount of relief when they began using hearing aids. For 22% of those individuals, the relief was significant. However, hearing aids are not 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:
- External sounds are enhanced: When you have loss of hearing, the volume of the outside world (or, at least, certain wavelengths of the world) can fade away and become quieter. When that happens the ringing in your ears becomes a lot more noticeable. Hearing loss is not decreasing the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. A hearing aid can increase that surrounding sound, helping to mask the buzzing or ringing that was so prominent before. As you tune out your tinnitus, it becomes less of an issue.
- It gets easier to have conversations: Modern hearing aids are particularly effective at identifying human speech and raising the volume of those sounds. This means carrying on a conversation can become much easier once you’re regularly using your devices. You can follow the story Fred is telling at happy hour or listen to what Sally is excited about at work. The more you connect with other people, the more social you are, the less you’ll detect your tinnitus. Interacting socially also helps reduce stress, which is linked to tinnitus.
- The increased audio stimulation is keeping your brain fit: Hearing loss has been proven to put a strain on cognitive function. Using a hearing aid can keep the audio regions of your brain limber and healthy, which as a result can help reduce some tinnitus symptoms you might be experiencing.
Modern Hearing Aids Come With Several Benefits
Modern hearing aids are intelligent. They come with innovative hearing assistance algorithms and the latest technology. But the efficiency of modern hearing aids is achieved in part because each device can be refined and calibrated on a patient-per-patient basis (sometimes, they recalibrate based on the level of background noise).
Personalizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can conveniently be calibrated to the particular hearing levels you might have. The buzzing or humming is more likely to be effectively obscured if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
What is The Best Way to End Tinnitus?
Your degree of hearing loss will determine what’s best for you. If you haven’t had any hearing loss, you’ll still have available treatments for your tinnitus. That could mean custom-created masking devices, cognitive-behavioral therapy, or medication.
But, if you’re one of the many people 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. Stop tinnitus from making your life difficult by managing your hearing loss with a good pair of hearing aids.