In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the entire population, and hearing loss is present in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a substantial relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think people would be more inclined to seek treatment for one or both conditions.
But in fact we find the reverse. Among those who pass up treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they think 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 boost hearing and alleviate tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health specialists, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients confirmed some degree of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed significant relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some measure of relief and about 2 million would achieve substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids reduce the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss triggers diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that produce the perception of sound when no external sound source is present.
It’s this very subjective character that renders tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why medications or surgical procedures normally 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 adjust or reverse its response to diminished sound stimulation.
With the help of 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.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be individualized for each person.
Hearing aids, in combination with sound and behavioral therapy, are currently the best tinnitus options available. Most patients describe some degree of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Arrange an appointment today!