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 deep connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think people would be more likely to seek treatment for one or both conditions.
But in fact we find the opposite. Of those who skip treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they feel that nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering unnecessarily when a treatment method exists that could both augment hearing and alleviate tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was found that 60 percent of patients reported some level of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed considerable relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would obtain some extent of relief and about 2 million would realize substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids minimize the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss triggers reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that result in the perception of sound when no external sound is present.
It’s this personal character that makes tinnitus so difficult to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures tend to have little impact. There’s simply no physical tissue to repair or chemistry to modify.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adjust or reverse its response to diminished sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to regular levels of sound stimulation and at the same time offer a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more noticeable because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can vanish into the background.
On top of that, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be individualized for each person.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are at this time the best tinnitus options available. Most patients report some measure of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Arrange a consultation today!