In the United States, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a strong relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think people would be much more likely to seek out treatment for one or both conditions.
But in fact we find the opposite. 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 program is available that could both augment hearing and relieve tinnitus simultaneously.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health specialists, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients reported some extent of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent reported substantial relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would achieve some degree of relief and about 2 million would realize substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids minimize the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss results in diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that trigger the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this very subjective character that renders tinnitus so difficult to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures typically have little impact. There’s simply no physical structure to repair or chemistry to influence.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adapt or reverse its reaction to decreased sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and simultaneously supply a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more noticeable because the tinnitus is louder relative to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can fade into the background.
In addition, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be tailored for each patient.
Hearing aids, in combination with sound and behavioral therapy, are currently the best tinnitus treatment options available. Many patients report some level of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Schedule a consultation today!