Benefits of Hearing Aids for People with Tinnitus
Have you experienced buzzing or ringing in your ears? If you have, you’re not alone. Tinnitus is the perception of sounds that are not being produced. Sometimes called “ringing in the ears”, the phantom sounds that sufferers can hear can cause difficulty hearing, interfere with day to day life, and impact quality of life.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 15% of the general public in the US (roughly 50 million Americans) experience tinnitus in one form or another. Of those that experience tinnitus, 20 million are reported to suffer from chronic tinnitus. Two million people experience extreme, sometimes debilitating, symptoms of tinnitus.
Although there is now known cure for tinnitus, there are treatment options that can provide relief from the symptoms.
What Causes Tinnitus?
There are a number of causes of tinnitus. Additionally, certain factors can trigger or even worsen symptoms, such as:
- Hearing loss: According to the Hearing Health Foundation, on average, 90% of individuals who experience tinnitus also have a hearing loss. Although hearing loss doesn’t cause tinnitus, there are links between the two.
- Loud noise: If you’ve ever spent the night in a loud club and walked away feeling like your hearing is muffled, you’ve likely been in an environment that was too loud. In some situations, you may experience tinnitus after exposure to these volumes.
- Ototoxic medications: A number of different medications are known as potentially ototoxic, meaning they can be harmful to your inner ear. (If you’d like more information on ototoxic medications, please see the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s page). If you’re taking any medication, it’s important to let your general health practitioner know who will then be able to advise you of any potential interactions or impact on your hearing health.
- Auditory conditions: Some conditions that impact the sensitive hearing system, like Ménière’s disease, are known to cause tinnitus. For further information on how tinnitus may be linked to a hearing condition, book an appointment with the hearing care professionals at Family Audiology today.
- Health conditions: Certain health conditions have been linked to tinnitus. These include: thyroid problems, high blood pressure (hypertension), cardiovascular disease, and more. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of tinnitus persistently for a few days, we recommend booking an appointment with your general health practitioner to rule out an underlying health conditions.
Can a Hearing Aid Help with Tinnitus?
Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a cure for tinnitus. However, the symptoms can be minimized. As many cases of tinnitus are linked to a hearing loss, treating the hearing impairment with hearing aids can help reduce symptoms of tinnitus. Now, many hearing devices include tinnitus therapy technology, which helps to mask over or decrease the wearer’s perception of their tinnitus signal.
If you have tinnitus, why not book an appointment with the Family Audiology team? We are here to help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of certified hearing care professionals at Family Audiology.