That ringing in your ears may be more than a little nuisance. Tinnitus (the perception of sound when no actual external noise is present) can be completely debilitating to those who suffer from it. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 50 million Americans experience some degree of tinnitus.
Studies have shown that tinnitus is more apparent in those that have a hearing loss than those with normal hearing. A recent survey shows that 70-85% of the hard-of-hearing population have reported suffering from tinnitus.
The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) states that hearing aids can be an effective treatment for tinnitus for several reasons.
Hearing aids can cover or mask the sounds of tinnitus by augmenting the volume of outside noise. This forces the brain to focus on other external noises and not the ringing in the ears.
Not only can hearing aids mask the sounds of tinnitus, but by increasing the volume of external noise it also can increase the amount of auditory stimulation the brain receives. For this reason, Beltone provides the Tinnitus Calmer app. Sound therapy combined with hearing aids can be an effective remedy for tinnitus.
Anyone with tinnitus can tell you that every aspect of their life is difficult because of this disorder. Having a normal conversation, watching TV, working or even talking on the phone can seem next to impossible. Since hearing aids augment the external volume above the perceived volume of tinnitus, these activities may seem less burdensome and easier to enjoy.
While hearing aids don’t completely rid patients of tinnitus, they are able to blend the sounds of tinnitus into other background sounds, therefore making life a bit more enjoyable.
If you are living with tinnitus and are seeking relief; your first step should be to contact a hearing care practitioner for a comprehensive hearing evaluation.