How Hearing Aids Can Help To Manage Tinnitus
An unwelcome blight upon millions of people across the world, tinnitus is the name given to any persistent noise you experience that doesn’t come from any external source.
Although tinnitus is commonly referred to as a ‘ringing in the ears’, tinnitus sufferers experience a whole range of noises which are unique to each individual.
Tinnitus can be:
- Occasional or persistent,
- Described as a ringing, buzzing, whistling or roaring noise
- A combination of all of the above
- Multi-toned (low, mid or high pitched or a mixture)
- Varied in its intensity from person to person
Tinnitus can be a serious condition which can have detrimental effect on a person’s quality of life so if you have started to notice any kind of problems with tinnitus you really should do something about it sooner rather than later.
What causes tinnitus?
This is a complicated question, the exact answer to which is still not fully understood.
What we do know is that tinnitus is most likely caused by some kind of physical change inside the inner ear which leads to the brain misinterpreting the sound signals it receives:
The causes of this change can range from anything from age related cochlea damage or trauma (like a head injury or exposure to loud noises) to things such as medically related issues such as Ménière's disease, diabetes, otosclerosis and much more (you can see a list of causes on the NHS website here).
Whatever the root cause, tinnitus is related to the brain not processing sound signals in a way which it has been able to do previously.
Tinnitus can be temporary, but if the source of the problem is not addressed then the tinnitus can become permanent.
How is hearing loss and tinnitus linked?
Age related hearing loss occurs because the process of hearing changes in some way.
Through age related decay the nerve cells inside the inner part of the ear become less effective, leading to hearing loss.
Because tinnitus is also closely related to changes inside the inner ear, the conditions are very closely linked.
In fact, it is thought that up to 90% of those with tinnitus also have some form of hearing loss.
However it should be noted that not everyone who has hearing loss has tinnitus, and visa versa (i.e. not everyone with tinnitus has hearing loss).
How can tinnitus be managed?
It should be stressed that at the first signs of experiencing tinnitus, you must visit your GP.
They will be able to do a range of tests on you to decide whether you are suffering from tinnitus, discuss how it is impacting your life and arrange for other tests to be carried out to determine possible causes of the tinnitus.
Tinnitus unfortunately has no ‘cure’ as such, but various methods can be undertaken in order to live with the affliction.
This might be as simple as avoiding activities which might be causing it (like operating loud machinery) to using something like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to live with tinnitus.
If you would like a comprehensive list of ways and techniques that can help you manage tinnitus, this page on the British Tinnitus Association page offers a lot of fantastic advice.
Where we come in is that you will note that they suggest that hearing aids can often be very helpful as a way to help combat tinnitus.
This is where Hearing & Mobility can help.
Hearing aids and Tinnitus
Due to way hearing loss and tinnitus are linked, hearing aids can make a significant difference when it comes to coping with tinnitus.
Because hearing aids are devices which aim to help you regain hearing frequencies which you have lost over time, hearing better can help to control your tinnitus.
In fact, some modern digital hearing aids now even come with specific tinnitus masking settings.
These hearing aids are adjustable by one our qualified hearing aid audiologists who can tune the hearing aid to try and combat the tinnitus you experience.
If you have seen your GP and tried various techniques to help fight your tinnitus, why not give us a call to see how hearing aids might be able to help you.
Get all the information – book in a free hearing test now
If you have seen your GP, tried to learn to cope with your tinnitus or used other techniques to help but they haven’t worked, why not book yourself in for one of our free hearing tests to see how hearing aids can help.
When you receive the free test the hearing aid audiologist will not only give a diagnostic evaluation of your hearing (like technical details such as which sound frequencies you are struggling to hear etc.), they are also there to listen to you and to give you a consultation about any hearing problems.
They will work with you to reach a solution to your hearing problems, and using the data from your hearing test can give you the best advice about which hearing aids may or may not be suitable to help you achieve better hearing or whether tinnitus masking technology is suitable.
Click on the button at the bottom of the page, fill out your details (it will only take a minute or so) on our sign up page and we will give you a call back discuss how you can achieve better hearing!
A word from one of our hearing aid audiologists:
“What is gratifying in our work is the patient’s emotion as they realise their tinnitus has subsided, on the spot.”
Mr Tim Evans
BSHAA listing - http://www.bshaa.com/Find-an-Audiologist/87016
[1.] NHS Website - Menieres Disease
[2.] NHS Website - Tinnitus Causes
[3.] Tinnitus.org - What can I do?
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