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 connection between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would assume that people would be more inclined to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the exact opposite. 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 program exists that could both boost hearing and alleviate 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 degree of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent claimed significant relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would obtain some measure of relief and about 2 million would enjoy substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids mitigate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss triggers decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that result in the perception of sound when no external sound source is present.
It’s this subjective feature that makes tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why medications or surgical procedures normally 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 response to depleted 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 patients 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 fade into the background.
In addition, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be customized for each patient.
Hearing aids, combined with sound and behavioral therapy, are right now the best tinnitus treatment options available. The majority of patients report some degree of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Arrange an appointment today!