In the US, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss exists in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a strong relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would assume that people would be more inclined to seek out treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the opposite. Of those who pass up 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 exists that could both augment hearing and alleviate tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was found that 60 percent of patients confirmed some amount of tinnitus relief when using hearing aids, while 22 percent claimed significant relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would obtain some measure of alleviation and about 2 million would enjoy substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids minimize the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss triggers reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that generate the perception of sound when no external sound is present.
It’s this very subjective nature that makes tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures generally have little to no impact. There’s simply no physical tissue to repair or chemistry to modify.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adjust or reverse its reaction to depleted sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and concurrently provide a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people 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 disappear into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the user, which can be tailored for each person.
Hearing aids, combined with sound and behavioral therapy, are presently the best tinnitus options available. Many patients describe some extent of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule a consultation today!