In the US, tinnitus affects 20 percent of the total population, and hearing loss occurs in 90 percent of the cases.
With such a substantial relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss, you would think people would be more inclined to seek out treatment for one or both ailments.
But in fact we find the reverse. Of those who avoid 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 unnecessarily when a treatment plan is available that could both improve hearing and alleviate tinnitus at the same time.
That treatment method is the professional fitting of hearing aids.
In a recent survey of hearing health professionals, it was discovered that 60 percent of patients reported some measure of tinnitus relief when utilizing hearing aids, while 22 percent confirmed substantial relief.
Based on these figures, if the 9 million who have abandoned tinnitus utilized hearing aids, 5.4 million would attain some amount of alleviation and about 2 million would enjoy substantial relief.
But how do hearing aids alleviate the severity of tinnitus?
The scientific consensus is that hearing loss results in decreased sound stimulation reaching the brain. In response, the brain goes through maladaptive neurological changes that generate the perception of sound when no exterior sound source is present.
It’s this very subjective feature that renders tinnitus so challenging to diagnose and treat, and why prescription drugs or surgical procedures tend to have little impact. There’s simply no physical structure 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 decreased sound stimulation.
With the help of hearing aids, amplified sound can help readjust the brain to normal levels of sound stimulation and concurrently supply a masking effect for the sounds of tinnitus.
For people with hearing loss, tinnitus is more disturbing because the tinnitus is louder compared to the volume of exterior sound. By turning up the volume on external sound, tinnitus can vanish into the background.
Furthermore, some hearing aids can deliver sound therapy directly to the user, which can be customized for each person.
Hearing aids, in conjunction with sound and behavioral therapy, are presently the best tinnitus treatment options available. Many patients describe some degree of relief and many patients report substantial relief.
Are you ready to give hearing aids a chance? Schedule an appointment today!