What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is sound in the head that is not caused by an external sound. For many, it’s a ringing sound in the ear, while for others, it’s whistling, buzzing, roaring or even shrieking. You might feel it from time to time, or constantly. However, only YOU can hear the noise. You may also find that your tinnitus gets worse at night. Simply because it is quiet and nothing is distracting you.
Tinnitus is a symptom, not a permanent condition or disease. It usually causes a minor irritation. However, for some people, it may influence their everyday life and be very frustrating. They have difficulty concentrating and sleeping.
Can hearing aids reduce tinnitus? Here’s what you should know about the relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus—and why hearing aids can sometimes help improve tinnitus symptoms.
Importance of Hearing Aids in Tinnitus
Hearing aids provide relief by making sounds louder and the tinnitus harder to notice in a way where you can ignore it.
Clinical evidence shows that the use of hearing aids in tinnitus patients provides many benefits: it makes the patient less aware of the tinnitus by masking sounds that can be irritating, it improves communication and maintains the ability to understand language by retraining the brain.
Using hearing aids in each ear has been shown to be more beneficial than using only one aid.
How Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus
1. Hearing background noises
They filter and increase environmental sounds in the background that the person may be missing, such as a gentle breeze, rain or the beach. You can tell different sounds apart.
2. Reducing stress
We encounter in life many moments that can cause stress: work, money troubles, relationships, and many others. Not being able to communicate with others is nerve-wracking too. Getting tired and facing lot of stress may make your tinnitus worse. Hearing aids help reduce the person’s stress reaction and take care of his health because he is simply not putting as much effort into doing things when he’s hearing better.
3. Using Open-fit hearing aids
They are small devices placed in the ear canal to transport sound. They pick up sounds through a receiver which is then fed through an amplifier, and then finally sent through a speaker. This enables clarification, providing a natural hearing.
4. Using Tinnitus Maskers or Noisers – White Noise Machines
They look like hearing aids. They are electronic devices that fit in the ear and make a sound that masks the tinnitus. The masking sound makes you forget the ringing in your ears. It creates a low-level “white” noise that hides the tinnitus. You can use a masker and a hearing aid simultaneously. Depending on the device, maskers can be worn in the ear, used with hearing aids or placed in a room as a speaker.
Because of this device, the brain is ‘fooled’ by the permanent noise it generates and reduces the annoyance of the tinnitus.
People’s individual experience of tinnitus can differ greatly and might not work for everybody. Still, when combined with hearing aids, tinnitus therapy and other strategies, a treatment plan can provide highly desirable results and soothe your tinnitus symptoms.