Around one out of every seven people are estimated to deal with tinnitus. That puts the total number in the millions. That’s… a lot of people, both in absolute terms and relative to the general population, and in some countries, the percentage of the population who experience tinnitus is even more startling.
Sometimes tinnitus is goes away on it’s own. But in those cases where ringing, buzzing, or humming in your ears is hard to shake, finding an effective remedy can very quickly become a priority. Luckily, there is a remedy that has proven to be rather effective: hearing aids.
Hearing loss and tinnitus are related but distinct conditions. you can have hearing loss without tinnitus or tinnitus without hearing loss. But if you’re going through the two conditions simultaneously, which is pretty common, hearing aids can treat both at the same time.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed by Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids have, according to one study, been documented to give tinnitus relief to up to 60% of participants. Approximately 22% of everyone surveyed went so far as to report significant relief. Despite this, hearing aids are actually designed to manage hearing loss not specifically 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 successfully treat the tinnitus symptoms.
Here’s how tinnitus symptoms can be reduced with hearing aids:
- Everything gets slightly louder: When you have loss of hearing, the volume of the outside world (or, at least, certain wavelengths of the world) can fall away and become quieter. The ringing in your ears, then, is a lot more obvious. Hearing loss is not decreasing the ringing so it becomes the loudest thing you hear. A hearing aid can increase that ambient sound, helping to mask the ringing or buzzing that was so forefront before. Tinnitus becomes less of an issue as you pay less attention to it.
- Conversations become easier: Contemporary hearing aids are particularly good at identifying human speech and amplifying those sounds. So once you’re wearing your hearing aids on a regular basis, carrying on conversations gets a lot easier. You can keep up with the story Carl is telling at happy hour or listen to what Sally is excited about at work. When you have a balanced involved social life tinnitus can appear to disappear into the background. Socializing also helps decrease stress, which is associated with tinnitus.
- The increased audio stimulation is keeping your brain fit: When you have hearing loss, those regions of your brain tasked 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 pliable condition and hearing aids can help maintain this.
The Perks of Modern Hearing Aids
Modern hearing aids are smart. They come with 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 level of background noise).
Whatever your particular hearing levels are, customized hearing aids can effortlessly be calibrated to them. The better your hearings aid works for you, the more likely they are to help you mask the buzzing or humming from tinnitus.
The Best Way to Stop Tinnitus
Your degree of hearing impairment will determine what’s right for you. There are still treatment options for your tinnitus even if you don’t have any hearing impairment. Medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a custom masking device are some possible solutions.
But, if you’re one of the many individuals out there who happen to have both hearing impairment and tinnitus, a set of hearing aids may be able to do the old two-birds-one-stone thing. Treating your hearing loss with a good set of hearing aids can often stop tinnitus from making your life miserable.