It’s extremely common for people with tinnitus, which is a phantom ringing sound in the ears, to also experience some level of hearing loss. In fact, the Hearing Loss Association of America reports that as many as 90% of people with tinnitus also have hearing loss. Because of this strong link, tinnitus is often effectively treated with hearing aids.
The Basics of Hearing Aids
Though hearing aids come in a variety of shapes, styles and colors, all have four basic components:
- The microphone, which picks up sounds in your environment.
- The processor, which amplifies sounds to a level the wearer can easily hear.
- The receiver, which delivers amplified sound signals to the ear.
- The battery, which powers the device.
Efficacy of Hearing Aids for Treating Tinnitus
One survey of hearing health care professionals found that approximately 60% of tinnitus patients experienced at least some relief when wearing hearing aids, and 22% experienced significant relief.
How Hearing Aids Help with Tinnitus
Hearing aids primarily help with tinnitus symptoms by masking tinnitus sounds.
When sounds in your environment are amplified, they cover the sound of your tinnitus and distract you from what’s going on in your brain/ears. You can think of it this way: Imagine you’re sitting in your quiet backyard and there’s a cricket chirping somewhere. It probably is pretty loud and noticeable, and maybe even a little annoying. Now, imagine you’re sitting next to a rushing river where there are birds singing overhead and other critters chattering in the trees nearby. You probably won’t notice the cricket as much, if at all.
If turning up the sounds in your environment doesn’t provide enough relief, many of today’s hearing aids come with a tinnitus-masking feature, which plays white noise to cover the sound of tinnitus.
Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Whether you suffer from tinnitus, hearing loss or both, you probably have trouble communicating and socializing. Hearing aids can make it easier to have a conversation, even in the most challenging listening environments like Papa’s Italian Restaurant. This can improve your quality of life by reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
To learn more about the benefits of hearing aids or to schedule an appointment with a tinnitus expert, call Prescott Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy today.