In the United States, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss exists in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a deep relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think that people would be more likely to seek out treatment for one or both conditions.
But believe it or not we find the opposite. Of 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 unnecessarily when a treatment 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 experts, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients confirmed some amount of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some degree 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 decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that produce the perception of sound when no external sound source is present.
It’s this subjective character that makes tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures tend to have little to no effect. There’s simply no physical tissue 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 reduced sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to normal levels of sound stimulation and simultaneously offer a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more disturbing because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can disappear into the background.
In addition, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the user, which can be customized for each person.
Hearing aids, coupled with sound and behavioral therapy, are at present the best tinnitus options available. Many patients describe some extent of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Arrange a consultation today!