April 24, 2020

Treating tinnitus with hearing devices

General Health

Tinnitus sufferers often struggle with solutions to quiet the ringing in their ears. It’s a widespread problem, affecting about 15 percent of U.S. adults, and one without a cure. That does not mean there aren’t solutions for managing tinnitus symptoms, and one of the most effective might already be at your fingertips. If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss and wear hearing devices, relief might be just a button or two away.

Tinnitus is not a medical condition itself, but rather, the symptom of another disease. Almost anything that can cause hearing loss can also cause tinnitus, a fact that helps explain why so many individuals diagnosed with hearing loss also suffer from tinnitus. The list of causes is extensive; aging, noise exposure and ototoxic medications (drugs that can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss) are among the most common. The good news? Your hearing devices won’t only help you communicate more effectively; they might also help you manage your tinnitus. Researchers have discovered the following:

  • 27.8 percent of hearing device users report a moderate to substantial reduction in their tinnitus symptoms when using their devices.
  • Two out of three people experience tinnitus relief when wearing hearing devices most or all of the time of the time, and 29 percent report that using hearing devices alleviates their tinnitus all of the time.

Hearing devices help with tinnitus in several important ways. Wearing them regularly reduces the cognitive burden involved in the listening process, decreasing stress and anxiety—factors that tend to worsen tinnitus symptoms.

Because hearing devices amplify background sounds, turning up the volume when wearing them can help cover up the sound of tinnitus. This allows the brain to focus on ambient noises instead and is especially effective for patients whose tinnitus occurs at the same frequency as their hearing loss. Boosting the volume is also helpful for those patients whose tinnitus is so loud and distracting it interferes with their ability to follow conversations or watch television. Amplifying these sound signals helps mask the ringing in their ears and allows them to hear better.

If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss and are also experiencing tinnitus, try your hearing devices. They might just make a difference!

Call Fort HealthCare Audiology at 920-563-6667 to schedule a free hearing screening or hearing exam.