Most estimates put the number of individuals impacted by tinnitus in the millions or about one in every seven people. 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.
True, tinnitus isn’t always recurring. But in those instances where buzzing, ringing, or humming in your ears is difficult to get rid of, finding an effective remedy can very quickly become a priority. One of the most practical of such treatments is already rather common: hearing aids.
There are some connections between tinnitus and hearing loss but they are in fact separate conditions. It’s possible to experience tinnitus with average hearing or to have hearing loss without also getting tinnitus. But both conditions coexist often enough that hearing aids have become a practical solution, managing hearing loss and stopping tinnitus all at once.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed by Hearing Aids?
According to one survey, 60% of individuals with tinnitus observed some amount of relief when they began using hearing aids. Approximately 22% of everyone surveyed went so far as to report significant relief. However, hearing aids are not made specifically to treat tinnitus. The benefits appear to come by association. 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 tinnitus symptoms can be reduced with hearing aids:
- Everything gets a little bit louder: When you have hearing loss, the volume of the outside world (or, at least, particular wavelengths of the world) can fall away and become more silent. When that occurs the ringing in your ears becomes much more noticeable. Hearing loss is not decreasing the ringing so it becomes the most pronounced thing you hear. The ringing or buzzing that was so prominent will be obscured when your hearing aid enhances the outside sound. Tinnitus becomes less of an issue 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 be much easier once you’re routinely wearing your devices. You will be more involved with your co-worker’s story about their kids and better able to participate with your spouse about how their day went. The more you connect with others, 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 experience hearing loss, those regions of your brain charged with interpreting sounds can often suffer from stress, fatigue, or atrophy. Tinnitus symptoms you might be experiencing can be decreased when the brain is in a healthy limber condition and hearing aids can help keep it that way.
The Benefits of Modern Hearing Aids
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 accomplished 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 effortlessly be calibrated to the specific hearing levels you might have. The humming or buzzing is more likely to be successfully obscured if your hearing aid is dialed in to work best for you.
What is The Best Way to End Tinnitus?
This will likely depend on your level of hearing impairment. If you haven’t had any hearing loss, you’ll still have accessible treatment options for your tinnitus. That could mean custom-made masking devices, medication, or cognitive behavioral therapy.
However, if you’re one of the many individuals out there who happen to have both hearing loss 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.