In the United States, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss is present in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a strong relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think that people would be much more likely to seek out treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the opposite. Of those who bypass 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 method exists that could both enhance hearing and alleviate tinnitus simultaneously.
That treatment 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 level of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some amount of alleviation and about 2 million would enjoy substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss brings about diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that result in the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this very subjective feature that renders tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why medications or surgical procedures typically have little to no impact. There’s simply no physical structure to repair or chemistry to alter.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adapt or reverse its reaction to decreased sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to healthy levels of sound stimulation and in the process provide a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more disturbing because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can disappear into the background.
Additionally, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be individualized for each person.
Hearing aids, coupled with sound and behavioral therapy, are right now the best tinnitus options available. Many patients report some degree of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Schedule a consultation today!