Tinnitus describes a ringing, roaring, whistling, hissing, humming or buzzing sound with no external sound source. Tinnitus is usually most noticeable in quiet places, like Fred Fletcher Park. While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are many options for managing it, one of which is hearing aids.
The Link Between Tinnitus & Hearing Loss
The Hearing Loss Association of America reports that as many as 90% of people with tinnitus also have some degree of hearing loss. There are thought to be two reasons for this:
- Both tinnitus and hearing loss are often the result of damage to the auditory system, whether from the natural aging process, noise exposure or ototoxic drugs.
- When you have hearing loss, less external sound stimuli reach the brain, causing the brain to undergo maladaptive neuroplastic changes that can result in tinnitus.
How Hearing Aids Help
According to one survey of hearing health care professionals, approximately 60% of tinnitus patients experienced at least some relief after they started wearing hearing aids, and 22% experienced significant relief.
There are several reasons for this, which are outlined below.
Hearing aids essentially turn up the volume on the sounds that are in your environment, causing them to become louder than the tinnitus. When your environment is amplified, you don’t pay as much attention to your tinnitus because you’re distracted by what’s happening around you.
The masking effect is especially effective for people whose tinnitus and hearing loss both occur in the same frequency range.
While you wear hearing aids, your brain receives more auditory stimulation. This can prevent the neuroplastic changes discussed previously.
Wearing hearing aids to treat tinnitus can improve your quality of life by improving your communication abilities. When tinnitus is severe, it can make it challenging to participate in conversations and social activities. When you wear hearing aids, you can more easily hear your conversation partner. This can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. To learn more about how hearing aids can be used to treat tinnitus or to schedule an appointment with a tinnitus expert, call Carolina Ear Nose & Throat – Sinus and Allergy Center today.