People with tinnitus often wonder, can hearing aids help tinnitus? While more research is needed, the benefits are clear. Hearing aids make it easier to hear actual sounds above the roar of interruptions, easing the stress on the brain and allowing patients to communicate more clearly.
In quieter environments, most hearing aids also provide a selection of static noise tinnitus therapy signals that help alleviate tinnitus noise by effectively distracting the wearer.
Tinnitus can be a debilitating condition causing ringing and/or sounds in the ears. It affects at least 6% of the population. This translates to 207,000 citizens aged 14 or older in New Zealand.
Hearing loss of all types is a major problem throughout the country. It affects 18.9% of the population, with 880,350 patients contributing to economic costs totalling $957.3 million. This impact is only expected to grow with the aging population.
These two conditions often appear together, with hearing loss contributing to tinnitus and the distracting noises that tinnitus creates making it difficult to hear. There are several treatment methods available, and one seeks to provide relief for both issues.
What Is Tinnitus?
Before you decide whether or not a hearing aid can help provide you with relief from tinnitus, it’s helpful to understand what the condition is and what its symptoms are.
Tinnitus is a consistent buzzing, hissing, or ringing sound in the ears. It can interrupt daily activities and make it difficult to hear.
There are several different types, causes, and symptoms of tinnitus. Knowing them helps you understand your individual needs a little better.
Types of tinnitus
There are several types of tinnitus. The two main categories are subjective and objective, with the latter having several subtypes.
Subjective tinnitus involves noises that only you can hear. Most of its subtypes can be identified by which area of the body they originate from or affect. The types of subjective tinnitus you may experience include somatic, pulsatile, and neurological.
Somatic tinnitus affects the sensory system. Body movements like clenching your jaw, moving your eyes, or applying pressure to your head or neck may affect your symptoms.
Pulsatile tinnitus is related to blood flow. The rhythm of the sounds it creates tends to match your heartbeat. Try to feel your pulse while listening to the sounds to diagnose this type.
Neurological tinnitus is caused by neurological disorders such as Meniere’s disease.
Objective tinnitus involves noises that your doctor can also hear when examining you. It’s a much rarer but possible explanation for your symptoms.
Symptoms and Causes
More research is required to answer a question like how do you get tinnitus. It’s not a disease in and of itself and usually results from external factors. The causes are as wide-ranging as the effects, but potential risk factors include:
- Age-related hearing loss
- Prolonged exposure to loud noises
- Earwax buildup
- Ear infections
- Ruptured eardrums
- Medication side effects
- Excessive alcohol or caffeine
- Ear or head injuries
- Severe weight loss or malnutrition
- Blood flow or nerve issues
Other causes such as genetics and surgery may come into play as well. It can be difficult to determine where a case of tinnitus originates from, but a skilled doctor should be able to distinguish it from hearing loss.
Can Hearing Aids Stop Tinnitus?
There’s a wide variety of options to choose from when deciding how to get relief from tinnitus. None of them can altogether stop tinnitus but instead serves as forms of management used to make the symptoms less severe.
If a single cause can be found, the treatment becomes much easier. This occurs in cases where simple changes such as removing built-up earwax, fixing an impacted canal, managing an infection, or changing a medication that has tinnitus as a side effect can provide sufficient relief.
Some cases are more complex and may leave the patient asking, where can I find help for the ringing in my ears? It may be necessary to consider methods such as tinnitus therapy hearing aids.
Age-related hearing loss is the leading cause of tinnitus. Hearing aids treat both problems at once, reducing the abnormal sounds you hear while improving your overall hearing.
More research is needed to answer questions like can hearing aids help tinnitus, but current results are promising. A 2007 American Tinnitus Association survey found that 60% of tinnitus patients experienced relief and 22% experienced significant relief.
Hearing aids mask the annoying sounds and ringing sensations of tinnitus by increasing the volume of ambient noise in the world. They also increase the brain’s level of auditory stimulation and make it easier for patients to communicate. They also allow the brain to focus only on important sounds, reducing stress.
These effects and more help provide relief from tinnitus symptoms. They may not make the noises or ringing sensations stop, but they should lessen the severity and make them easier to live with.
How To Get Relief From Tinnitus
Treating ear conditions like tinnitus is difficult because they come in so many varieties and affect each patient differently. If several treatment methods fail, they may start to wonder, can hearing aids help tinnitus?
Hearing aids may not work for everyone, but the current literature suggests a positive correlation. Most tinnitus patients experience at least some relief thanks to the hearing aid’s ability to amplify ambient sound and make it easier to communicate.
If you choose to receive hearing aids as a form of tinnitus treatment, get them from the best possible facility. They differ greatly in quality, and lower prices may mean substandard service. We offer relief for a variety of ear conditions that cause pain, hearing loss, and other debilitating symptoms. Take the tinnitus test to learn more about tinnitus, and/or visit us in Auckland for relief today.