Roughly 90% of tinnitus cases occur with an underlying hearing loss. Tinnitus is the medical term we use for “ringing in the ears”. To some, it may also sound like buzzing or humming noises. Symptoms vary, and some tinnitus cases can be very bothersome and debilitating. Tinnitus can affect your concentration, increase stress and anxiety, and decrease quality of life.
There is a misconception that nothing can be done to help those suffering from tinnitus. While there is no medication to treat tinnitus, there is research to show that hearing aids can help control tinnitus and alleviate tinnitus symptoms. There has been evidence to suggest hearing aids can improve communication and reduce anxiety levels by “masking” tinnitus with therapeutic sounds, which can exacerbate tinnitus. Furthermore, activating the auditory system and amplifying background sound can decrease the loudness and prominence of tinnitus.
If you have a hearing loss, a hearing aid may help with managing tinnitus by offering sound therapy in the following ways:
- Increasing the information available to the brain by amplifying background sounds, and making the tinnitus seem less audible.
- Improving communication with others, therefore reducing stress levels.
- Helping to compensate for your hearing loss.
- Helping you to habituate to tinnitus sounds.
There are some medical conditions and medications that can accompany or cause tinnitus symptoms, so if you are experiencing tinnitus symptoms, we encourage you to come in and have your hearing tested as the first step. There is hope and treatment options for tinnitus. We are here to help you.
*To read more about tinnitus, some of the above information was pulled from here.