In the US, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a substantial relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be more inclined to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the opposite. Among those who bypass treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they believe nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering needlessly when a treatment method exists that could both enhance hearing and relieve tinnitus at the same time.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health specialists, it was found that 60 percent of patients confirmed some measure of tinnitus relief when using hearing aids, while 22 percent reported substantial relief.
Based on these percentages, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some measure of alleviation and about 2 million would realize substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids reduce the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss results in reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that generate the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this very subjective feature that renders tinnitus so challenging to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures typically have little effect. There’s simply no physical structure to repair or chemistry to alter.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adapt or reverse its response to depleted sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to regular levels of sound stimulation and in the process offer a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For patients with hearing loss, tinnitus is more disturbing because the tinnitus is louder relative to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can vanish into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be tailored for each person.
Hearing aids, combined with sound and behavioral therapy, are at this time the best tinnitus treatment options available. Many patients describe some degree of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Arrange a consultation today!