In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a deep connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would assume that people would be more likely to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the reverse. Among those who bypass 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 method exists that could both improve hearing and alleviate tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health specialists, it was found that 60 percent of patients reported some level of tinnitus relief when using hearing aids, while 22 percent claimed substantial relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would obtain some degree of alleviation and about 2 million would attain significant relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss triggers decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain experiences maladaptive neurological changes that bring about the perception of sound when no external sound is present.
It’s this personal feature that renders tinnitus so challenging 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 modify.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adapt or reverse its reaction to depleted sound stimulation.
With 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 patients with hearing loss, tinnitus is more noticeable because the tinnitus is louder relative to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can vanish into the background.
Also, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the user, which can be personalized for each patient.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are presently the best tinnitus options available. Most patients describe some level of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Arrange a consultation today!