Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing in one or both ears. While many cases are mild, others have tinnitus that is chronic and severe enough to interfere with their daily lives and make activities such as work, sleep and dining out with friends at View 202.
For those with chronic symptoms, finding ways to manage their condition is essential to improving their quality of life. Hearing aids can provide tinnitus relief for some with the condition.
Hearing Loss is a Common Cause of Tinnitus
There are many conditions that can cause tinnitus, and some cases don’t appear to have an obvious cause. However, hearing loss is known to be one of the more common reasons people experience tinnitus. Research estimates that 90% of people who have tinnitus also have at least some degree of hearing loss.
While we don’t know exactly why hearing loss and tinnitus are so closely related, one thought is that hearing loss reduces stimulation that your brain receives from sounds. This deprivation can make the ringing or other tinnitus noise more noticeable and can perhaps even “change the function of structures of the auditory pathways.”
Thankfully, hearing aids have proven to effectively manage tinnitus symptoms linked to hearing loss.
Four Ways Hearing Aids Can Help Manage Tinnitus
Hearing aids can help manage tinnitus symptoms in several ways:
- Restore auditory stimulation to the brain. Hearing aids make it easier for the ears and brain to process sounds and help pick up on sounds you weren’t hearing while your hearing loss was untreated. This increase in stimulation may help minimize tinnitus.
- Let you hear background noise. Background noise can help to suppress or mask the noise from tinnitus. Because hearing aids let you pick up on more subtle sounds, it may be easier to tune tinnitus out.
- Relieve stress. Hearing loss can be stressful. It can increase feelings of anxiety, especially around social interactions. Stress is also known to exacerbate symptoms of tinnitus. Hearing aids can help you feel more relaxed and confident about your communication ability and reduce your stress levels.
- Masking features. Some more advanced hearing aid models have masking features that create white noise that can cover up the ringing or buzzing caused by tinnitus. Even without that specific feature, hearing aids with Bluetooth® can connect to your smartphone and allow you to stream from a white noise or meditation app directly into your hearing device.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Audiology Associates of Redding today.