Around one in seven people are estimated to suffer from tinnitus. That puts the overall number in the millions. That’s… a lot of people, both in absolute terms and relative to the general population, and in a few countries, the percentage of the population who experience tinnitus is even more startling.
Sometimes tinnitus is temporary. But in those instances where buzzing, ringing, or humming in your ears is tough to get rid of, finding a reliable treatment can very quickly become a priority. Luckily, there is a treatment that has proven to be really effective: hearing aids.
Tinnitus and hearing loss are related but distinct conditions. It’s possible to experience tinnitus with normal hearing or to experience hearing loss without also getting tinnitus. But both conditions occur together often enough that hearing aids have become a dependable solution, managing hearing loss and stopping tinnitus in one fell swoop.
How Can Tinnitus be Helped by Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids have, based on one survey, been reported to give relief of tinnitus symptoms for up to 60% of participants. For 22% of those people, the relief was considerable. Despite this, hearing aids are actually made to deal with hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. Association appears to be the main reason for this benefit. So if you have tinnitus and hearing loss then that’s when your hearing aids will most effectively treat the tinnitus symptoms.
Here’s how hearing aids can help reduce tinnitus symptoms:
- Everything gets a little bit louder: When you experience loss of hearing, the volume of the world (or, at least, certain frequencies of the world) can fade away and become quieter. When that happens the ringing in your ears becomes much more obvious. Hearing loss is not decreasing the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. A hearing aid can boost that ambient sound, helping to drown out the buzzing or ringing that was so forefront before. Tinnitus becomes less of an issue as you pay less attention to it.
- Conversations become easier: Modern hearing aids are particularly effective at identifying human speech and amplifying those sounds. This means carrying on a conversation can be much easier once you’re regularly using your devices. You can keep up with the story Carl is telling at happy hour or listen to what Nancy is excited about at work. The more you socialize with others, the more social you are, the less you’ll detect your tinnitus. Interacting socially also helps minimize stress, which is related to tinnitus.
- The increased audio stimulation is keeping your brain fit: When you experience hearing loss, those portions of your brain charged with interpreting sounds can frequently suffer from stress, fatigue, or atrophy. Tinnitus symptoms you might be experiencing can be reduced when the brain is in a healthy flexible condition and hearing aids can help maintain this.
The Perks of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are smart. They include innovative hearing assistance algorithms and the newest technology. But it’s the ability to personalize a hearing aid to the specific user’s needs that makes modern hearing aids so effective (sometimes, they recalibrate based on the amount of background noise).
Customizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can conveniently be calibrated to the particular hearing levels you may have. The humming or buzzing is more likely to be successfully hidden if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
What is The Best Way to End Tinnitus?
This will probably depend on your level of hearing loss. There are still treatment solutions for your tinnitus even if you don’t have any hearing impairment. Medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a custom masking device are some possible options.
However, hearing aids might be able to take care of both situations if you have tinnitus and hearing loss at the same time. Treating your hearing loss with a good pair of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life miserable.