In the United States, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a strong relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be more inclined to seek out treatment for one or both conditions.
But believe it or not we find the reverse. Among those who pass up 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 enhance hearing and relieve tinnitus at the same time.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients reported some amount of tinnitus relief when using hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed significant relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some amount of relief and about 2 million would enjoy significant relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss results in decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that generate the perception of sound when no external sound source is present.
It’s this subjective feature that makes tinnitus so difficult to diagnose and treat, and why medications or surgical procedures generally have little effect. There’s simply no physical tissue 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 depleted sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to healthy levels of sound stimulation and concurrently offer a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more bothersome because the tinnitus is louder relative to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can fade into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be personalized for each patient.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are at present the best tinnitus options available. Many patients describe some measure of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Schedule an appointment today!