In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss exists in 90 percent of those cases.
With such a strong connection between hearing loss and tinnitus, you would assume that people would be more inclined to seek treatment for one or both conditions.
But believe it or not we find the reverse. Of those who skip treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they feel that nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering needlessly when a treatment is available that could both boost hearing and relieve tinnitus concurrently.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health experts, it was found that 60 percent of patients confirmed some measure of tinnitus relief when using hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed considerable relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would realize some amount of alleviation and about 2 million would achieve significant relief.
But how do hearing aids minimize the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific agreement is that hearing loss brings about reduced sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain undergoes maladaptive neurological changes that generate the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this very subjective nature that makes tinnitus so difficult to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures generally have little to no effect. There’s simply no physical tissue to repair or chemistry to influence.
But there is a way to reach the perception of sound, a way to help the brain adapt or reverse its reaction to reduced sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and concurrently provide 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.
In addition, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the user, which can be customized for each patient.
Hearing aids, in combination with sound and behavioral therapy, are currently the best tinnitus treatment options available. Most patients report some amount of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Schedule a consultation today!