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 hearing loss and tinnitus, you would think people would be more inclined to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the reverse. Among those who refuse treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they are convinced nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering unnecessarily when a treatment plan is available that could both enhance 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 found that 60 percent of patients confirmed some extent of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent claimed significant relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some level of relief and about 2 million would achieve substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss leads to decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain undergoes maladaptive neurological changes that result in the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this personal character that renders tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures normally have little to no effect. There’s simply no physical tissue 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 decreased sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to normal levels of sound stimulation and in the process provide a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For patients 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 fade into the background.
Additionally, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be tailored for each person.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are presently the best tinnitus treatment options available. Many patients describe some amount of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Schedule an appointment today!