In the United States, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a strong connection between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would assume that people would be more inclined to seek out treatment for one or both conditions.
But believe it or not we find the reverse. Among those who bypass treatment for hearing loss, 39 percent (9 million people) do so because they believe that nothing can be done about their tinnitus.
That’s 9 million people that are suffering needlessly when a treatment plan exists that could both improve hearing and relieve tinnitus simultaneously.
That treatment is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients confirmed some degree of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed considerable relief.
Based on these percentages, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would obtain some level of alleviation and about 2 million would achieve substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids mitigate the intensity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss brings about diminished sound stimulation reaching the brain. In reaction, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that produce the perception of sound when no exterior sound is present.
It’s this very subjective character that renders tinnitus so perplexing to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures normally have little to no impact. There’s simply no physical tissue to repair or chemistry to modify.
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 hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to normal levels of sound stimulation and simultaneously provide a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more bothersome because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of external sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can vanish into the background.
On top of that, some hearing aids can furnish sound therapy directly to the individual, which can be customized for each patient.
Hearing aids, coupled with sound and behavioral therapy, are currently the best tinnitus options available. Many patients report some measure of relief and many patients report significant relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a try? Arrange an appointment today!