Around one in seven people are estimated to deal with tinnitus. That puts the total number in the millions. That’s… a lot of people, both in actual terms and relative to the overall population, and in some countries, the percentage of the population who experience tinnitus is even more alarming.
Sometimes tinnitus is temporary. But if you’re coping with chronic tinnitus symptoms it becomes imperative to find a treatment as soon as you can. Luckily, there is a remedy that has proven to be quite effective: hearing aids.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are related but distinct conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with normal hearing or to experience hearing loss without also getting tinnitus. But if you are going through the two conditions simultaneously, which is pretty common, hearing aids can handle both at the same time.
How Hearing Aids Can Help Tinnitus
According to one survey, 60% of people with tinnitus noticed some amount of relief when they began using hearing aids. Approximately 22% of those surveyed reported significant relief. In spite of this, hearing aids are actually designed to manage hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. Association seems to be the principal reason for this benefit. So if you have tinnitus and hearing loss then that’s when your hearing aids will most successfully treat the tinnitus symptoms.
Here’s how tinnitus symptoms can be decreased with hearing aids:
- Everything gets a bit louder: When you experience loss of hearing, the volume of the outside world (or, at least, specific wavelengths of the world) can fade away and become more silent. The ringing in your ears, in that situation, is much more obvious. It’s the loudest thing you hear because it is not decreased by your hearing loss. A hearing aid can boost that surrounding sound, helping to mask the buzzing or ringing that was so prominent before. As you pay less and less attention to your tinnitus, it becomes less of an issue.
- Conversations become less difficult: Contemporary hearing aids are particularly good at identifying human speech and raising the volume of those sounds. This means having a conversation can become much easier once you’re regularly wearing your devices. You can follow the story Fred is telling at the restaurant or listen to what Nancy is excited about at work. The more you interact with other people, the more social you are, the less you’ll notice your tinnitus. Sometimes, 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 have hearing loss, those regions of your brain tasked with interpreting sounds can often suffer from fatigue, stress, or atrophy. Using a hearing aid can keep the audio centers of your brain limber and healthy, which as a result can help minimize certain tinnitus symptoms you may be experiencing.
Modern Hearing Aids Come With Many Advantages
Modern hearing aids are intelligent. They include cutting edge hearing assistance algorithms and the newest technology. But it’s the ability to customize a hearing aid to the specific user’s needs that makes modern hearing aids so effective (they can even sense the level of background noise and automatically adjust accordingly).
Whatever your specific hearing levels are, customized hearing aids can conveniently be calibrated to them. The better your hearings aid works for you, the more likely they are to help you drown out the buzzing or humming from tinnitus.
What is The Best Way to End Tinnitus?
Your level of hearing loss will determine what’s best for you. If you haven’t had any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatments 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 set of hearing aids may be able to do the old two-birds-one-stone thing. Treating your hearing loss with a good pair of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life difficult.