In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a strong connection between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be much more likely to seek out treatment for one or both conditions.
But in fact we find the exact opposite. Of those who bypass 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 plan exists that could both augment hearing and relieve tinnitus simultaneously.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was found that 60 percent of patients reported some measure of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed considerable relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some extent of alleviation and about 2 million would achieve substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss leads to diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that produce the perception of sound when no exterior sound source is present.
It’s this subjective feature that makes tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why medications or surgical procedures typically have little to no impact. 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 adapt or reverse its reaction to decreased sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and concurrently supply 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 external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can disappear into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be tailored for each person.
Hearing aids, coupled with sound and behavioral therapy, are at this time the best tinnitus treatment options available. Many patients describe some extent of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Arrange an appointment today!