Hearing aids are one of the most common devices and treatment options used for the aid of individuals suffering from hearing loss. These aids help in easy hearing and reduce the stress experienced by an individual with hearing loss, while trying to ensure intensive listening.
But although many people do use hearing aids for their hearing loss condition, these little machines can also be used to reduce the annoying symptoms and problems caused by tinnitus.
What Is Tinnitus?
It is a medical condition in which an individual experiences ringing sounds in their ears. It is usually referred to as “a sound in the head”, which might be a ringing, whistling, humming, hissing, buzzing, shrieking or even roaring. (Harvard Medical School, 2011)
The symptoms of tinnitus hamper the everyday life schedule of patients. There are a number of reasons for the condition, which might be caused due to use of medications that damage and affect the ear nerves, loud noises, and impacted earwax, to name a few. (Harvard Medical School, 2011). While there are a number of therapies and medications to treat tinnitus, scientists believe that individuals, who have hearing loss and tinnitus symptoms both, can use hearing aids to relieve their annoying symptoms and enjoy easy hearing.
Relieving Tinnitus Symptoms In A Unique Way
Hearing aids are used to facilitate hearing, for individuals who have suffered a hearing loss due to any reason. Tinnitus symptoms on the other hand, are mostly aggravated with loud noises and sounds, along with the stress produced as a result. (Audiological Consultants of Atlanta)
Regardless of the difference, how hearing aids help in relieving the symptoms of tinnitus is easy to explain. Hearing aids are designed to help individuals with hearing loss to hear sounds from their surroundings in a better manner, thus giving them an amplified version of each sound that is produced around them. It assists individuals who suffer from a hearing loss of minor to severe levels, to identify and register the sounds from their environment. Hence, hearing aids can help tinnitus patients to focus their attention on sounds in their surroundings, rather than concentrating and worrying about the ringing in their ears.
Tinnitus patients with hearing loss, suffer severe discomfort when their symptoms are aggravated due to the stress experienced by them, while trying to listen intensively. Hearing aids can thus, be used as a unique and novel solution to the problem experienced by tinnitus patients, as they amplify the surrounding sounds to drown the ringing in the ears. (Haberle & Kristensen, 2012) Additionally, with no stressful experiences involved in trying to differentiate external sounds from the sounds in the head, a tinnitus patient is able to lead a happy and normal life.
Hearing aids are thus, beneficial for both, individuals suffering from a hearing loss and for those suffering from tinnitus. It ensures a stress free hearing opportunity, to ensure easy hearing, without any ringing in the ears due to aggravated tinnitus symptoms.
According to a research, about 10% to 15% of the world adult population suffers from the medical condition called tinnitus. And out of this, around 70% to 85% of the individuals are those who have a hearing impairment along with a reported tinnitus condition. (Haberle & Kristensen, 2012)
This article is written by: Dr. Lori Trentacoste, head audiologist at Island Better Hearing (www.islandbetterhearing.com) All images and content in this article are the sole property of the LIAHP and Dr. Trentacoste (c) 2015, All rights reserved. Use of this article or any content references from this article and/or other written products in this blogsite must be done with express permission from Dr. Lori Trentacoste.
Audiological Consultants of Atlanta. (n.d.). Tinnitus: FAQ. Retrieved from Audiological Consultants of Atlanta ACA: http://audioconsult.com/services/specialized-testing/tinnitus-faq/
Haberle, S., & Kristensen, A. M. (2012). Tinnitus Treatment Options in Hearing Aids:A Novel Appproach to Turning Nonusers into Users. Audiology Online. http://www.audiologyonline.com/articles/tinnitus-treatment-options-in-hearing-11385
Harvard Medical School. (2011). Tinnitus: Ringing in the Ears and What to do About It. Harvard Health Publications . http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/tinnitus-ringing-in-the-ears-and-what-to-do-about-it