Most estimates put the amount of people impacted by tinnitus in the millions or around one out of every seven people. That’s… a lot of people, both in absolute terms and relative to the general population, and in several countries, the percentage of the population who experience tinnitus is even more alarming.
Sometimes tinnitus is goes away on it’s own. But in those instances where ringing, buzzing, or humming in your ears is difficult to get rid of, finding a reliable treatment can very quickly become a priority. Fortunately, there is a treatment that has proven to be really effective: hearing aids.
There are some links 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 getting tinnitus. But if you are experiencing the two conditions together, which is fairly common, hearing aids can treat both at the same time.
How Hearing Aids Can Treat Tinnitus
According to one study, 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 aren’t made specifically to treat tinnitus. Association appears to be the principal reason for this benefit. As such, hearing aids appear to be most effective if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how hearing aids can help stop tinnitus symptoms:
- Outside sounds are boosted: The volume of certain frequencies of the world become quieter when you are suffering from hearing loss. When that occurs the ringing in your ears becomes much more obvious. Hearing loss is not affecting the ringing so it becomes the most pronounced thing you hear. The buzzing or ringing that was so prominent will be obscured when your hearing aid enhances the outside sound. As you tune out your tinnitus, it becomes less of an issue.
- Conversations become less difficult: Increasing the volume of human speech is something modern hearing aids are particularly good at. So once you’re wearing your hearing aids on a regular basis, having conversations becomes much easier. You will be more involved 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 connect with other people, the more social you are, the less you’ll notice your tinnitus. At times, tinnitus is intensified by stress so being able to socialize can helps in this way also.
- Your brain is getting an auditory workout: Hearing loss has been proven to put a strain on cognitive function. Wearing a hearing aid can keep the audio regions of your brain limber and healthy, which as a result can help decrease some tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing.
The Benefits of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are intelligent. They come with cutting edge hearing assistance algorithms and the newest 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 (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 adjusted to the specific hearing levels you may have. The better your hearings aid works for you, the more likely they are to help you cover up the buzzing or humming from tinnitus.
What is The Best Way to End Tinnitus?
This will most likely depend on your level of hearing impairment. If you haven’t experienced any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatment options for your tinnitus. Cognitive behavioral therapy, a custom masking device, or medication are some possible solutions.
However, if you’re one of the many people out there who happen to have both hearing impairment and tinnitus, a pair of hearing aids may be able to do the old two-birds-one-stone thing. Managing your hearing impairment with a good set of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life miserable.