Can Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus?

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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. 

Most hearing aids also have static noise tinnitus therapy signals in quieter environments that help alleviate tinnitus noise by effectively distracting the wearer.

Tinnitus affects at least 6% of the population and can be debilitating.

Hearing loss of all types is a significant problem throughout New Zealand. It affects 18.9% of the 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. Several treatment methods are available, and one seeks to relieve both issues.

What Is Tinnitus?

Before you decide whether or not a hearing aid can help relieve tinnitus, it’s helpful to understand the condition and its symptoms.

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.

Tinnitus Causes

More research is required to answer a question like how 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 also come into play. It can be challenging 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 stop tinnitus but instead serve as management strategies to reduce the severity of symptoms.

If a particular cause for tinnitus can be diagnosed, the treatment becomes much more accessible. A single cause may require treatment, such as removing built-up earwax, managing an infection, or changing a medication. 

Some cases are more complex and may leave the patient asking, where can I find help? 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 simultaneously, reducing the abnormal sounds you hear while improving your overall hearing.

More research is needed to answer questions like, can hearing aids help tinnitus? Current results are promising, such as a 2007 American Tinnitus Association survey found that 60% of tinnitus patients experienced relief, and 22% experienced significant relief.

Hearing aids mask the sounds and 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 essential sounds, reducing stress.

These effects and more help provide relief from tinnitus symptoms. They may not stop the noises or ringing sensations, but they can lessen the severity and make them easier to live with.

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