Most estimates put the number of individuals affected by tinnitus in the millions or around one out of every seven people. That’s… a lot of people, both in absolute terms and in relation to the overall population, and in a few countries, the amount of the population who experience tinnitus is even more alarming.
Sometimes tinnitus is goes away on it’s own. But in those cases where ringing, buzzing, or humming in your ears is difficult to get rid of, finding an effective treatment can very quickly become a priority. Luckily, there is a remedy that has proven to be really effective: hearing aids.
There are some links between hearing loss and tinnitus but they are actually separate conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with average hearing or to experience hearing loss without also developing tinnitus. But both conditions coexist frequently enough that hearing aids have become a practical solution, treating hearing loss and stopping tinnitus all at once.
How Can Tinnitus be Helped by Hearing Aids?
According to one survey, 60% of people with tinnitus noticed some measure of relief when they started using hearing aids. For 22% of those people, the relief was significant. Despite this, hearing aids are actually designed to manage hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. The benefits seem to come by association. As such, hearing aids seem to be most practical if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how hearing aids can help reduce tinnitus symptoms:
- Everything gets a bit louder: The volume of some of the wavelengths of the world become quieter when have hearing loss. The ringing in your ears, in that situation, is a lot more obvious. Hearing loss is not decreasing the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. A hearing aid can enhance that surrounding sound, helping to mask the ringing or buzzing that was so forefront before. Tinnitus becomes less of a problem as you pay less attention to it.
- It becomes less difficult to engage in conversations: Amplifying 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 gets much easier. You can keep up with the story Fred is telling at happy hour or listen to what Sally is excited about at work. The more you interact with other people, the more social you are, the less you’ll detect your tinnitus. Interacting socially also helps minimize stress, which is linked to tinnitus.
- The enhanced audio stimulation is keeping your brain fit: When you experience hearing loss, those regions of your brain charged with interpreting sounds can often suffer from fatigue, stress, or atrophy. Wearing a hearing aid can keep the audio regions of your brain limber and healthy, which as a result can help decrease certain tinnitus symptoms you might be experiencing.
The Advantages of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are smart. They include innovative hearing assistance algorithms and the latest technology. But it’s the ability to customize a hearing aid to the distinct user’s needs that makes modern hearing aids so effective (they can even sense the level of background noise and automatically adjust accordingly).
Personalizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can easily be adjusted to the specific hearing levels you may have. The humming or buzzing is more likely to be effectively obscured if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
The Best Way to Stop Tinnitus
Your level of hearing impairment will dictate what’s right for you. If you haven’t had any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatments for your tinnitus. That could mean custom-created masking devices, medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
However, hearing aids might be able to take care of both situations if you have tinnitus and hearing loss at the same time. Managing your hearing impairment with a good set of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life difficult.