In the United States, 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 think people would be much more likely to seek treatment for one or both ailments.
But believe it or not we find the opposite. Of 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 needlessly when a treatment method exists that could both boost 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 discovered that 60 percent of patients confirmed some extent of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids, while 22 percent reported significant relief.
Based on these numbers, if the 9 million who have given up on tinnitus used hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some measure of relief and about 2 million would enjoy significant relief.
But how do hearing aids actually mitigate 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 trigger the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this subjective nature that renders tinnitus so hard to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures normally have little impact. 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 response to depleted sound stimulation.
With hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to standard levels of sound stimulation and in the process supply a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For patients with hearing loss, tinnitus is more disturbing because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can fade into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be personalized for each patient.
Hearing aids, in combination with sound and behavioral therapy, are presently the best tinnitus treatment options available. Most patients report some measure of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Arrange an appointment today!