Most estimates put the amount of individuals affected by tinnitus in the millions or about one in every seven people. That’s… a lot of people, both in absolute terms and in relation 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 situations where buzzing, ringing, or humming in your ears is hard to shake, finding a reliable remedy can very quickly become a priority. One of the most effective of such solutions is already quite common: hearing aids.
There are some links between hearing loss and tinnitus but they are actually distinct conditions. It’s possible to have tinnitus with normal hearing or to have hearing loss without also getting tinnitus. But if you’re experiencing the two conditions simultaneously, which is fairly typical, hearing aids can treat both at the same time.
How Hearing Aids Can Treat Tinnitus
According to one study, 60% of people with tinnitus reported some measure of relief when they started using hearing aids. For 22% of those individuals, the relief was considerable. In spite of this, hearing aids are actually made to manage hearing loss not specifically tinnitus. Association appears to be the principal reason for this benefit. As such, hearing aids appear to be most practical if you have tinnitus and hearing loss.
Here’s how hearing aids can help get rid of tinnitus symptoms:
- External sounds are enhanced: When you experience hearing loss, the volume of the outside 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 noticeable. It’s the loudest thing you hear because it is not diminished by your hearing loss. The ringing or buzzing that was so obvious will be obscured when your hearing aid boosts the outside sound. Tinnitus becomes less of a problem as you pay less attention to it.
- Conversations become less difficult: Contemporary hearing aids are particularly effective at identifying human speech and amplifying those sounds. This means having a conversation can become much easier once you’re routinely using your devices. You can follow the story Carl is telling at the restaurant or listen to what Sally is excited about at work. The more you connect with other people, the more social you are, the less you’ll notice your tinnitus. Sometimes, 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 confirmed to put a strain on cognitive function. Tinnitus symptoms you might be experiencing can be decreased when the brain is in a healthy limber condition and hearing aids can help maintain this.
Modern Hearing Aids Come With Several Benefits
Modern hearing aids are intelligent. To some degree, that’s because they integrate the newest technologies and hearing assistance algorithms. But the effectiveness of modern hearing aids is attained in part because each device can be refined and calibrated on a patient-by-patient basis (sometimes, they recalibrate according to the amount of background noise).
Personalizing hearing aids means that the sensitivity and output signals can easily be calibrated to the particular hearing levels you might have. The humming or buzzing is more likely to be successfully masked if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
The Best Way to Stop Tinnitus
This will likely depend on your level of hearing loss. If you haven’t had any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatment options for your tinnitus. That could mean custom-created masking devices, medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
However, if you’re one of the many people out there who happen to suffer from both hearing impairment and tinnitus, a set of hearing aids might be able to do the old two-birds-one-stone thing. Stop tinnitus from making your life miserable by treating your hearing loss with a good pair of hearing aids.