In the United States, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss is present in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a deep relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would assume that people would be more likely to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the exact opposite. Of those who skip treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they are convinced nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering needlessly when a treatment program is available that could both enhance hearing and alleviate tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients reported some level of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent claimed substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some amount of relief and about 2 million would enjoy substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids alleviate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss brings about reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain undergoes maladaptive neurological changes that trigger the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this very subjective nature that renders tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures typically have little to no impact. 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 decreased sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and concurrently supply a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For patients with hearing loss, tinnitus is more noticeable because the tinnitus is louder relative to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can fade into the background.
Additionally, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the user, which can be tailored for each patient.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are at this time the best tinnitus options available. Many patients describe some amount of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule a consultation today!