In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss exists in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a substantial connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think that people would be more likely to seek out treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the opposite. Among those who avoid treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they feel that nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering needlessly when a treatment exists that could both enhance hearing and alleviate tinnitus at the same time.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health experts, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients reported some degree of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent reported substantial relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would obtain some extent of relief and about 2 million would enjoy substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids minimize the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss results in diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that trigger the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this personal feature that renders tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why medications or surgical procedures typically have little 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 adjust or reverse its reaction to diminished sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to normal levels of sound stimulation and simultaneously offer 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 exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can fade into the background.
Additionally, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be individualized for each patient.
Hearing aids, combined with sound and behavioral therapy, are at this time the best tinnitus options available. Many patients report some extent of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule an appointment today!