In the United States, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a substantial relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be more inclined to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the reverse. Among those who refuse 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 method exists that could both augment hearing and relieve tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health specialists, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients confirmed some measure of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some level of relief and about 2 million would enjoy substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids minimize the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss leads to diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain undergoes maladaptive neurological changes that bring about the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this subjective feature that makes tinnitus so challenging 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 alter.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adapt or reverse its response to depleted 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 patients 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.
Additionally, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the user, which can be personalized for each person.
Hearing aids, in combination with sound and behavioral therapy, are presently the best tinnitus treatment options available. Many patients report some amount of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule a consultation today!