In the United States, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss exists in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a strong connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think people would be much more likely to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the reverse. Of those who bypass treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they believe nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering needlessly when a treatment exists that could both improve hearing and relieve 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 amount 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 attain some degree of alleviation and about 2 million would attain significant relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss results in reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that bring about the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this very subjective nature that renders tinnitus so difficult to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures tend to have little effect. There’s simply no physical tissue 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 response to diminished sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to regular levels of sound stimulation and concurrently offer a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more noticeable because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can fade into the background.
Additionally, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be tailored for each patient.
Hearing aids, combined with sound and behavioral therapy, are at present the best tinnitus options available. Many patients describe some degree of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Arrange a consultation today!