In the United States, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss exists in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a strong relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think that people would be much more likely to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the reverse. Among those who refuse treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they believe that nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering needlessly when a treatment plan is available that could both augment hearing and alleviate tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health specialists, it was found that 60 percent of patients reported some level of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent claimed substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some degree of relief and about 2 million would attain substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss leads to reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that result in the perception of sound when no external sound is present.
It’s this very subjective character that makes tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why medications or surgical procedures generally have little impact. There’s simply no physical structure to repair or chemistry to influence.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adapt or reverse its reaction to diminished sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to normal levels of sound stimulation and in the process supply a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more noticeable because the tinnitus is louder relative to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can vanish into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the user, which can be customized for each person.
Hearing aids, coupled with sound and behavioral therapy, are right now the best tinnitus treatment options available. Most patients describe some degree of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule a consultation today!