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Tinnitus can be frustrating, distracting, and even debilitating. While there may not be a cure, there are ways to manage this pesky condition.
And that's where hearing aids come in.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Hearing aids can make a world of difference. Not only can they help you cope with the constant ringing in your ears, but they can also slow down the progression of further hearing loss.
So let's dive in and learn more about this treatment option - the benefits, the risks, and everything in between.
What Is Tinnitus?
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? It is important to remember that tinnitus is not the fundamental cause of any ear-related problem but rather a symptom of one. Clicking, ringing, buzzing, or other loud sounds in the ear are all signs of Tinnitus.
It's possible that you experience these noises occasionally, or they might become a constant fixture in your auditory environment. Certain noises make hearing more difficult, regardless of how often they occur.
Pros and Cons of Hearing Aids for Tinnitus
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? In the same way, there is no black-and-white answer to whether or not to get hearing aids to deal with tinnitus; the same can be said of the decision to do so.
The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of cochlear implants for tinnitus that you should consider in addition to a hearing specialist's advice.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus pros
- Addresses other hearing loss: Due to the fact that tinnitus is symptomatic and not a cause of hearing loss, those who use hearing aids to alleviate the condition may discover that they have previously unnoticed deficits in their hearing.
- Non-invasive: You may treat your tinnitus without resorting to intrusive treatments or cumbersome, awkward equipment. Miniature hearing aids can be worn in or behind the ear, making them virtually invisible. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Every competent hearing aid professional should be able to provide you with a fitting that is quick, painless, and effective.
- Minimize annoying sounds: When hearing aids are used to treat tinnitus, the bothersome ringing, clicking, & buzzing noises that are characteristic of the condition may be reduced or eliminated entirely.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus cons
- Price: Similar to other forms of cutting-edge technology, hearing aids can vary greatly in price and are often not covered by health care plans. While the price of a hearing aid can range from under $1,000 to well over $3,000, there are options available for almost any budget. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? For this reason, it's important to have the advice of an audiologist before making a final decision.
- Relief isn’t guaranteed: It is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, with 20 million experiencing chronic symptoms and 2 million dealing with severe impairment. It is true that hearing aids are not always effective in these more complex circumstances. Self-care can be expensive, so it's important to hire a professional.
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What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is neither the result of, nor does it exacerbate, hearing loss, but it may be experienced in conjunction with this condition. Conversely, one of the most common causes of tinnitus is repeated exposure to extremely loud noise, such as that which could be encountered in a noisy workplace or at extremely loud public events.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Tinnitus is not always caused by hearing loss.
To name a few of these predicaments:
- An injury to the head or neck.
- Blockage of the auditory canal caused by infection, wax, or a tumor.
- Problems with the jaw and the neck.
- Problems with blood flow.
- Age-related cochlear degeneration.
- Chronic hypertension.
Do Hearing Aids Help With Tinnitus?
Tinnitus patients who also experience hearing loss might benefit greatly from using hearing aids. Typically, these are people who have trouble hearing normal levels of background noise and would benefit from having it amplified.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Many people get relief from their tinnitus after using a hearing aid. However, this is not the case for everyone. Tinnitus retraining therapy, when used in conjunction with other treatment methods, can lead to promising improvements.
For people with tinnitus and hearing loss, devices that provide prescription amplification can be an invaluable aid. Without adequate stimulation, the brain is constantly trying to fill in the gaps by looking elsewhere for the missing sound.
The hyperactivity brought on by this "hunting" is one factor in the perception of tinnitus as a ringing, hissing, and buzzing in the ear.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Replacing the lost input with a hearing aid is an excellent first step in curing tinnitus. The role of the limbic & autonomic nervous systems in annoying tinnitus is not addressed by hearing aids alone.
Over time, tinnitus will diminish when amplification is used in conjunction with prescribed sound treatment and educational counseling, with the ultimate objective of eliminating the experience of tinnitus altogether.
To retrain the brain and form new auditory pathways, amplification is essential. To address the limbic (emotional) system and the "fight or flight" response, therapeutic sound prescriptions and counseling sessions are required (autonomic system).
The addition of a relaxing and therapeutic environment can have a significant impact on the intensity of tinnitus. To alleviate tinnitus completely, it is necessary to address the patient's underlying hearing damage at particular frequencies and the neurological system's responses to tinnitus.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? It's important to find an audiologist that is open to discussing your alternatives with you when this occurs. Your audiologist may suggest a variety of approaches to treating your tinnitus, including counseling, sound therapy, sound maskers, medicine, and more.
In severe tinnitus instances, it may be necessary to include many specialists.
What Is the Best Treatment for Tinnitus?
Audiologists, ENTs, pharmaceutical companies, and others are all debating this. There are a wide variety of potential explanations for ringing in the ears, making it a difficult symptom to diagnose.
No two people with tinnitus are the same; thus, no two people will respond the same way to therapy. The uniqueness of each individual's hearing loss makes it imperative to find an audiologist who can provide individualized care based on scientific facts.
How Can Hearing Aids Help With Tinnitus?
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Hearing loss is often associated with tinnitus. As a result of the correlation between the two, a cochlear implant alone can provide relief from tinnitus in such cases.
The procedure is as follows:
- The tinnitus can be temporarily overridden with a hearing aid, which boosts background noise and makes speech more audible.
- Hearing aids are designed to make speech louder, but they also boost ambient noise, which can make tinnitus harder to detect.
- Tinnitus sufferers might find relief from their constant ringing by using a hearing aid that is custom matched to their ears.
Tinnitus can cause sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression in its most severe forms. As a result of the complexity of these circumstances, many of the best rated hearing aids now come equipped with tinnitus-specific algorithms to help make a living with the continual ringing more tolerable.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Try to find one of the following functions in a hearing aid while shopping for one to treat your tinnitus.
Low-frequency white noise is used in the majority of sound treatment methods to mask tinnitus. White noise, in the context of sound, is a chaotic mix of noises over the audible spectrum around the same intensity (20 to 20,000Hz).
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Static white noise can be used as a masking technique to divert attention away from the tinnitus and onto anything else. To combat your tinnitus, an audiologist can tailor the frequency range of the sounds you hear.
Tinnitus Notch Therapy
Tinnitus Signia hearing aids include notch treatment. Tonal tinnitus, which presents as a constant, steady tone, can be alleviated using this method. This treatment is effective because it reduces or eliminates the tinnitus-causing frequency of amplified sound.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Sometimes this treatment might completely eliminate the ringing or buzzing. Windowed sound therapy, based on this technique, has been demonstrated to have lasting benefits after up to five months of therapy.
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Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
Counseling and audio therapy are used together in a treatment method called tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Those with tinnitus can reduce their sensitivity to the ringing by learning to view it as neutral stimulation, according to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
It's called "habituation," when something becomes routine after repeated exposure. Counseling for TRT helps break the negative feedback loop in the brain that sound treatment can only partially address. As many as two years may pass throughout the procedure.
TRT is often used by audiologists; thus, it will likely show up in your search for hearing aids.
Tinnitus Masking Therapy
Tinnitus masking therapy is similar to TRT in theory, but instead of focusing on actual treatment, the counselor's role is more instructional than therapeutic. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Covering up the ringing in your ears entirely is the target. This treatment has been around for a while and, at least initially, seems to have better results than TRT.
What Other Tinnitus Treatments Can Help?
Hearing loss isn't usually accompanied by tinnitus. If you don't need a hearing aid but still find your tinnitus symptoms irritating, there are several choices listed below.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Counseling
Anxiety, Depression, panic attacks, & tinnitus are just some of the diseases treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Thoughts and actions are the focus of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? In an ideal world, CBT would lead to a shift in perspective and the accompanying reduction of symptoms. Tinnitus sufferers often find relief by practicing relaxation techniques designed to refocus their brain's attention away from the distracting ringing in their ears. It's a lot like the talking therapy portion of TRT.
Although therapy can help people adjust to living with tinnitus, research indicates that the use of a hearing aid has a more substantial impact on their quality of life.
Tinnitus sufferers who were given hearing aids plus TRT counseling (created by Dr. Jastreboff) in a short research conducted in 2022 reported more improvement in their condition than those who had received simple therapy.
White Noise Machines and Masking Devices
The sound of white noise can be used to cover up or disguise tinnitus. Environment or natural sounds, which have a comparable frequency to your tinnitus, may also help.
In order to create white or ambient noise, you can use an app like ReSound Relief on your smartphone.
White noise generators and tinnitus maskers, like the one seen above, are also widely available. These noise-canceling gadgets are capable of blocking out any frequency range of sound. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? See the best noise canceling hearing aids
Similar to cognitive behavioral therapy and tinnitus retraining therapy, meditation can help by distracting attention from the ringing in the ears. With time, as you focus less on your tinnitus, you may find that the noise subsides altogether.
Protecting your hearing is your best bet if you want to avoid tinnitus or slow its growth. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? A good place to start maybe with a set of noise-canceling headphones.
Hearing Aids vs. Maskers
Tinnitus maskers and hearing aids may both help with the condition, but they go about it in very different ways. Knowing that maskers cannot treat the hearing damage that frequently underlies tinnitus might help clarify the distinction between these devices.
A masker is a device that produces noises to mask tinnitus sounds like ringing, clicking, or buzzing.
These noises, often white noise, both can mask your tinnitus without obstructing your ability to hear other sounds and serve as a background within which your tinnitus sounds can mix. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Never will a masker increase the volume of sound that reaches your ears.
On the other side, hearing aids are created to increase the volume of sound entering the ear. Hearing aids can help you hear better by amplifying sounds that might otherwise be lost to your tinnitus. An audiologist can help you decide if cochlear implants or maskers will be more effective in treating your tinnitus.
What To Look For in a Hearing Aid for Tinnitus
Size, design, Bluetooth connectivity, streaming capabilities, & built-in sound enrichment technologies are all important considerations when searching for the best hearing aids for tinnitus.
Size and shape: Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Many people's experiences with their hearing aids may be summed up by how these three factors affect their daily lives. After getting your hearing checked by a specialist, try on a few different makes and types of hearing aids to see which feels the best.
Bluetooth compatibility and streaming capabilities: Some of the best Bluetooth hearing aids for tinnitus sufferers have sound-enhancement features that can only be used with Bluetooth connectivity and a streaming media player.
Find out if the hearing aids you're interested in work with both Android and iOS or if they only work with one.
Built-in sound enrichment technology: Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Certain hearing aid models come with in-built sound enrichment technology, which is convenient for folks who either don't have a smartphone or don't want to use it to stream sound enhancement to their devices.
Most tinnitus hearing aids require a prescription from a doctor of audiology and a professional fitting before they can be used effectively to alleviate tinnitus symptoms. At this consultation, the professional will assess your hearing loss, physical requirements, lifestyle preferences, and budget to recommend the best hearing aids for you.
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What Are Some Custom Tinnitus Programs I Can Try With My Hearing Aids or Headphones?
If you're experiencing tinnitus but don't have access to hearing aids, the ReSound Tinnitus Treatment app may help. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? To build a soundscape that helps with your tinnitus, you may mix and match up to five different sounds from a variety of categories, including nature sounds, therapeutic tones, and music.
Equally helpful is the Widex Zen Tinnitus Managerial app, which has a variety of prerecorded soundscapes in addition to relaxation and sleep routines. The Android and iOS versions of both applications are identical.
See whether there's a tinnitus therapy program on your hearing aid's companion app; if not, you may need to talk to your doctor about getting access. Inquire about the new Widex SoundRelax program, for instance, if you wear Widex Moment or Widex Moment Sheer hearing aids.
Because it is not necessary for speech comprehension, audiologists seldom test or adjust for hearing over 8kHz, despite the fact that hearing aids may emit frequencies up to and beyond that range. Can hearing aids help tinnitus? Devices designed specifically to disguise higher-pitched tinnitus may be helpful.
How Quickly Will My Tinnitus Improve With a Hearing Aid or Other Interventions?
Most likely, your tinnitus won't go away. No progress will be made in that regard. If you learn to control your tinnitus, though, you may find that it no longer bothers you at all.
Should I Schedule an Appointment with an Audiologist?
If you've never been to an audiologist before but are suffering from tinnitus symptoms, now could be the best time to do so. Some people don't realize how much better things can sound until they're exposed to modern medical and technological advancements.
Can hearing aids help tinnitus? If you have tinnitus, hyperacusis, or another serious hearing problem, you should see an audiologist.
Despite widespread misbelief, many problems are usually easier to resolve than people think. If you went to an audiologist in the past and left without finding a solution to your problem, you may want to try again now that more advanced diagnostic and treatment options are available.
Patients with tinnitus as well as other hearing problems today have more treatment choices than ever before.
Can I Keep My Tinnitus From Getting Worse?
Treatment for tinnitus is simply one component of overall tinnitus management. You should also be careful not to make your tinnitus worse. You may keep your tinnitus from becoming worse by avoiding situations where you'll have to raise your volume or by giving up alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Use some sort of ear protection, such as earplugs, earmuffs, noise-canceling headphones, or a muffler, if your job needs you to be in an environment with excessive noise.
The second way to deal with tinnitus is to talk openly about it. Ask the other person to turn around if they aren't facing you directly and you're having trouble hearing them over your tinnitus. One other option is to politely request that individuals speak up and be more audible.
Hearing Aids for Tinnitus: Am I a Candidate?
If the constant ringing, clicking, or buzzing in your ears is making it difficult to carry on conversations or perform routine duties, you may benefit from tinnitus hearing aids.
Nevertheless, just because you have tinnitus does not always indicate that you need hearing aids to treat it; only an audiologist with extensive training in hearing issues can help you make this determination. Depending on the severity of your tinnitus, a particular kind of sound treatment or a masker may help.
Our audiologists and hearing care specialists at I Love Hearing have been treating tinnitus using hearing impairment and maskers for decades.
We offer many locations around Manhattan, Nassau County, as well as the broader New York area so that you may get the care you need for your tinnitus without having to go too far out of your way.
I Love Hearing is the only place in the United States where you may sample virtually every major brand of hearing aid for free, which may help alleviate your tinnitus symptoms. There is a huge variety of styles and options to pick from.
We recognize the difficulty and personal nature of the choices you face in addressing your hearing loss. At I Love Hearing, we think it's important for our clients to be well-informed consumers who can make educated decisions about their hearing healthcare.
Get in touch with us right now to schedule a consultation with one of our experts in tinnitus management.
>>Check the best price for Jabra Enhance
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know Whether You’re Hearing-Impaired?
Do a hearing test if you are concerned about possible hearing loss. In the first place, you may try the best online hearing tests. Start right away with this sound engineer-created tone-based hearing screener, and then go on to the speech-based tests created by an audiologist.
Results indicating hearing loss or difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments warrant further evaluation by an audiologist.
Do Hearing Aids Help High-Frequency Tinnitus?
The most common kind of tinnitus is high-frequency tinnitus, which manifests as a constant, high-pitched buzzing in the ears and can be brought on by factors such as exposure to loud noise, drug side effects, or hearing loss.
Hearing aids can reduce the impact of high-frequency tinnitus by amplifying surrounding noises and disguising ringing using a variety of white-noise programs.
How Do People Cope With Severe Tinnitus?
People with tinnitus have options for managing their condition beyond the use of hearing aids.
If you suffer from severe anxiety or chronic depression as a result of your tinnitus, your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medicines or antidepressants in addition to trying acupuncture.
Biofeedback, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and other psychotherapeutic and relaxation treatments can also be useful (MBSR). Involvement in meaningful activities and time spent with loved ones might also help.
What Does an Audiologist Do for Tinnitus?
An audiologist can do a preliminary examination of tinnitus, which may involve audiological testing to determine the intensity and/or pitch of the ringing in one's ears. After making a diagnosis, an audiologist can prescribe, fit, and program hearing aids for their patients.
Conclusion: Can Hearing Aids Help With Tinnitus?
In a world of complex sounds, customized hearing aids are a must-have for those with hearing loss. And if the annoying buzz of tinnitus is driving you up the wall, it's time to check out the top hearing aids on the market. Give your ears the gift of clarity and say goodbye to the ringing!
- Jabra Enhance: Best digital hearing aids overall
- Audien: Best digital hearing aids that are invisible
- Audicus: Best digital hearing aids that are affordable
- Eargo: Best digital hearing aids sold OTC
- MDHearing: Best digital hearing aids that are rechargeable
- Starkey: Best digital hearing aids for tinnitus
- Widex: Best digital hearing aids that have RIC
- Phonak: Best digital hearing aids that are easiest to use
- Oticon Real: Best digital hearing aids with Bluetooth capability