If you’re stressed out by hearing strange noises over and over again, there may be an explanation. Tinnitus is a common set of symptoms where people hear repetitive ringing, buzzing or other noises that aren’t coming from the environment around them. Instead, they’re caused by a variety of factors that make your ears hear something that may not really be there.
If you want to find ways to ease your symptoms, we’ve pored through the evidence and looked at some unconventional ways to help yourself.
Causes & Solutions For Tinnitus
Since tinnitus can be caused by so many different things, it follows that there have to be lots of different ways to help chronic tinnitus sufferers. Stress, chronic hearing loss, inner ear infections, head injuries, reactions to specific medications, and certain ear diseases are just some of the issues behind tinnitus. Vitamin B12, acupuncture, essential oils, and yoga are just some of the alternative treatments on offer. But if you want the solution that’s most often discussed as a medical solution, you may want to research hearing aids for your tinnitus.
So why is it that hearing aids could help your tinnitus? The reason is that tinnitus is often caused by hearing loss. Specifically, a type of hearing loss called sensorineural hearing loss, where damaged hair cells in the ear interfere with your hearing, is commonly linked to tinnitus. Hearing aids for tinnitus help you in two ways. They decrease the underlying condition that causes your tinnitus, and since they modify background noises to help the user hear better, they help you tune out tinnitus noises. As well as this, there are also hearing aid-style units that produce white noise for the user. This drowns out the noises that come with tinnitus and make the condition less distracting. It’s clear that hearing aids are a common, affordable option for anyone who suffers tinnitus because of hearing loss. They work in simple ways to lessen how much the symptoms affect you.
How Can Hearing Aids Help With Tinnitus?
So now we know if tinnitus can go away, and how hearing aids for tinnitus can help you. But how successful are hearing aids? Scientists have found that 60% of tinnitus patients experience some relief from hearing aids, while 22% of tinnitus patients experienced a lot of relief from hearing aids. ‘Hearing aids,’ says one tinnitus sufferer, ‘mask the sound for me almost completely. I can still hear it ever so slightly when I’m wearing hearing aids, but if I’m ever bothered by the sound I can just Bluetooth the hearing aids to my iPhone and play podcasts or music. When I do that, the tinnitus is not noticeable at all’. Another tinnitus sufferer tells a story of intense pain overcome by the power of hearing aids. David saw six doctors across seven months, desperately looking for relief for his suffering; ‘one doctor told him he looked as if he had spent 20 years standing next to an active cannon’. Then, the very night he tried hearing aids for the first time, his symptoms disappeared. He was soon back to a high level of functioning, and these days, all he needs to do to get rid of his symptoms is to switch on his hearing device.
What Options Are Available For Hearing Aids & Tinnitus?
To understand the best hearing aids for tinnitus, you, therefore, need to understand the kind of hearing loss you have. You also need to understand the different types of hearing aids and hearing devices out there for tinnitus sufferers. The most common kinds of hearing devices are wearable sound generators. These use a form of treatment called sound therapy to help you get used to ignoring the tinnitus sounds. In the same way that living next to a busy road will make you get used to ignoring traffic sounds, listening to the wearable sound generator will get you used to hearing its sounds and not the tinnitus sounds. When you take it off, you can ignore the tinnitus sounds.
Digital hearing aids, meanwhile, work in a different way. For patients with hearing loss, they ‘fill in’ the missing sounds, particularly for those who miss sounds at a high frequency. Since digital hearing aids mask gaps in hearing in this way, they can also write over tinnitus sounds.
Other hearing aids for tinnitus include open-fit hearing aids. These, using the traditional mould of normal hearing aids, wrap around your ear. The way they’re different is that they also put a long, thin tube into your ear. This tube means that the hearing aids can amplify sound without shutting off the ear from outside input altogether. In this way, it lessens the amount you hear tinnitus sounds without blocking out the capability to hear that your ears still have.
Of course, it’s always important to do your own research when making medical decisions. Consult a wide variety of sources, and check with your doctor or another licensed medical professional before making any final decisions. But the answer to, ‘Can a hearing aid stop tinnitus?’, if your tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, seems to be a resounding yes. Look into it today, and maybe you’ll be one of the success stories who’s getting some peace and quiet.
- “Hearing Aids for Tinnitus Treatment”, Pacific Audiology Clinic, accessed 19th March 2021, https://pacoregon.com/blog/hearing-aids-for-tinnitus-treatment.
- “Tinnitus Success Story”, Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, accessed 19th March 2021, https://hearingassociateslv.com/tinnitus-success-story/.
- “Hearing Aids Provide Immense Relief to Tinnitus”, Tinnitus Talk, accessed 19th March 2021, https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/hearing-aids-provide-immense-relief-to-tinnitus.44423/.
- “Tinnitus”, Beacon Audiology, accessed 19th March 2021, https://www.beaconaudiology.com/tinnitus.