In the US, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss exists in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a substantial connection between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be more inclined to seek out treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the reverse. Among those who avoid 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 needlessly when a treatment is available that could both boost 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 reported some extent of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent claimed substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some extent of alleviation and about 2 million would achieve substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss triggers reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that trigger the perception of sound when no exterior sound source is present.
It’s this personal feature that makes tinnitus so difficult to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures normally have little to no effect. There’s simply no physical structure 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 reaction to decreased sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to healthy levels of sound stimulation and in the process offer a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people 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 disappear into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be personalized for each person.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are currently the best tinnitus treatment options available. Most patients describe some degree of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule a consultation today!