If you’re suffering from tinnitus in Encino, know that you are not alone: an estimated one out of five individuals across the country experiences a ringing in their ears. For some it’s an intermittent nuisance, while others find it a constant distraction that affects many areas of their daily lives. Regardless of the impact tinnitus has on your life, it’s doubtful you would turn down any opportunity available to quiet the ringing in your ears. If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss and wear hearing aids, the solution might literally be at your fingertips.
The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
Tinnitus is not a disease, but rather, the symptom of an underlying medical condition. Almost anything that can cause hearing loss can also cause tinnitus; the most common causes include noise exposure, natural aging, and ototoxic medications (those whose side effects can lead to temporary or permanent hearing damage). It’s little wonder many individuals experience both tinnitus and hearing loss. While this may feel like a double whammy, there’s a bit of good news: your hearing aids won’t only help you communicate more effectively; they might also help you manage your tinnitus. According to research:
- 8 percent of hearing aid users report a moderate to substantial reduction in their tinnitus when using hearing aids.
- Two out of three people experience tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids most of the time to all of the time, and 29 percent report that using hearing aids alleviates their tinnitus all of the time.
Using Hearing Aids to Manage Tinnitus
How can hearing aids help with tinnitus? In several important ways, it turns out. Wearing them reduces the cognitive burden involved in the listening process, thereby decreasing stress, which can exacerbate tinnitus.
Because hearing aids amplify background sounds, turning up the volume can help mask the sound of tinnitus, allowing the brain to focus on ambient noises instead. This is especially effective in those patients whose tinnitus occurs at the same frequency as their hearing loss.
For patients whose tinnitus is so loud and distracting it interferes with their ability to follow conversations or watch television, turning up the volume on their hearing aids boosts these sound signals, drowning out the ringing noise and allowing them to hear better.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus in Encino and already wear hearing aids, contact your audiologist and try these tips to help ease your frustration.