In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss is present in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a deep connection between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be more inclined to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the reverse. Among those who avoid treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they think that nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering unnecessarily when a treatment plan is available that could both enhance hearing and alleviate tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health experts, it was found that 60 percent of patients confirmed some extent of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed significant relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would obtain some degree of relief and about 2 million would enjoy significant relief.
But how do hearing aids reduce the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss leads to diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain undergoes maladaptive neurological changes that produce the perception of sound when no external sound is present.
It’s this subjective feature that makes 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 modify.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adjust 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 at the same time provide a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For patients with hearing loss, tinnitus is more bothersome because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can disappear into the background.
In addition, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be customized for each person.
Hearing aids, combined with sound and behavioral therapy, are currently the best tinnitus options available. Many patients report some measure of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule a consultation today!