Ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, is an issue most of us have dealt with throughout life, usually after being exposed to extremely loud or long periods of noise. Though bothersome, it typically goes away on its own in time. However, there are some who suffer from chronic tinnitus, and for them it is an everyday struggle to sit in the quiet as well as to hear. It may seem odd to think that a hearing aid which, in general, amplifies sound would be able to help with such a condition, but it actually is a very effective tool for treatment.
Tinnitus is very closely related to hearing loss, and it is often a telltale symptom that goes along with it. In fact, approximately 90% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. When this happens, the brain is forced to change the way it receives sound stimuli. The receptors are no longer picking up the further away outside noises as well as they used to. Instead they react to the much closer internal stimuli, which is actually what is heard as the “ringing”. Although the term ringing is commonly used, the internal sounds can be a wide variety of other noises, such as buzzing, rushing water, or even vocal sounds. It can be very annoying, but for those who suffer from this chronically it can negatively affect daily life, leading to frustration and anger, an inability to concentrate, and even depression.
Those who experience tinnitus along with hearing loss can greatly benefit from hearing aids. It is almost like a two for one deal! A hearing aid will amplify the external noise to make up for the deficiency that is no longer being received by the ear naturally. As a result, the brain will be able to adapt once again to the external stimuli, masking out the tinnitus. It allows the wanted sounds in and keeps the unwanted sounds away. The success of this treatment will depend on how closely the frequency of hearing loss matches the frequency of the amplification. Results will vary per case, but on average approximately 60% of those who try hearing aids as treatment along with their hearing loss find a noticeable relief from tinnitus.
If you are among the millions of people who suffer from tinnitus, or if you would simply like more information about it, we would be more than happy to speak with you. We offer a screening that will specifically determine the existence and degree of tinnitus as well as honest advice on what solutions are available for your unique situation. Please feel free to call us Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm or click here to contact us.
“Hearing Aids.” Welcome to American Tinnitus Association . American Tinnitus Association, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
Starkey Corp, Hearing Health Pocket Guide . Eden Prairie, MN: n.p., n.d. Print.