How do Hearing Aids Treat Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is used to describe hearing sounds that come from inside your body and not an external source. Most people would refer to tinnitus as a buzzing or ringing in the ears, but there are also people that would describe it with words such as buzzing, humming or hissing. Some people hear sounds that are similar to music, so the condition is different for everyone.
Some common ways to treat tinnitus include therapy and sound machines. Therapy aims to help you live with the sounds of tinnitus and trains you to tune them out. Another common method of treating tinnitus is to deal with the underlying condition. This can include dealing with impacted earwax or even an ear infection in the middle ear. There are many different causes of tinnitus, so your audiologist will likely do a thorough examination before reaching a conclusion.
Hearing loss is commonly associated with tinnitus
Hearing loss is one of the most common underlying conditions that cause tinnitus. Some people with normal hearing might also experience tinnitus, but it’s commonly associated with tinnitus. The loss of hearing is a very slow and gradual process and people are often surprised when they’re informed by their audiologist that they do in fact have hearing loss.
Using hearing aids to combat tinnitus
One of the best ways to deal with tinnitus is to use hearing aids. Since hearing loss is commonly associated with tinnitus, hearing aids can treat two problems at once.
Hearing aids work by amplifying the sound around you and playing it back (often after some processing or filtering) into your ears. There are several different types of hearing aid with some being more discreet than others. Some are placed behind the ear and a small tube is placed into your ear canal where the sound is played. Others are placed in the ear itself and can be pulled out when not in use. To deal with tinnitus, hearing aids can also include sound generators, forming what’s known as a combination hearing aid.
Sound generators are a name given to a device that is used to combat tinnitus. It works similarly to a hearing aid but the purpose is to mask the tinnitus sound and not amplify noise around you. Nowadays, there are many combination devices that work as both a hearing aid and sound generator, effectively dealing with two problems at once.
You’ll want to speak to your audiologist about the using of hearing aids. Make sure you mention your tinnitus (they’ll likely check beforehand) so that they know to showcase combination devices and not just hearing aids.
Although there are many ways to deal with tinnitus, hearing aids are arguably one of the most common and simplest ways. The alternatives are to find the underlying cause of tinnitus or undergo therapy, both of which can be troublesome and difficult compared to receiving a pair of hearing aids.