In the United States, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss is present 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 in fact we find the reverse. Of those who avoid 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 unnecessarily when a treatment is available that could both boost hearing and relieve tinnitus at the same time.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health specialists, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients reported some level of tinnitus relief when using hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed considerable relief.
Based on these percentages, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would achieve some degree of alleviation and about 2 million would realize substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss triggers reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain undergoes maladaptive neurological changes that generate the perception of sound when no exterior sound source is present.
It’s this subjective nature that renders tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures tend to have little to no 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 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 simultaneously 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 exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can disappear into the background.
Also, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be individualized for each person.
Hearing aids, combined with sound and behavioral therapy, are at this time the best tinnitus options available. The majority of patients describe some level of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Schedule a consultation today!