While there is no universal cure for tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, several management techniques can be very effective at minimizing your symptoms. One common management strategy is to use hearing aids.
The Basics of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a common condition affecting millions of Americans. While it’s most often described as a ringing in one or both ears, people can experience buzzing, clicking, hissing, whooshing or other noises as well.
The vast majority of tinnitus cases are subjective, meaning the sound is only heard by the person with tinnitus. However, less commonly, people have objective tinnitus that can be heard upon a medical examination. Objective tinnitus is often caused by an issue with the blood vessels.
Some people experience only acute or transient symptoms that often resolve themselves. However, other people have chronic tinnitus that interferes with their ability to sleep, work and go about their day-to-day lives. In these instances, it’s important to find helpful management techniques.
The Association Between Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
There are many conditions that can cause tinnitus, and some cases don’t appear to have an obvious cause. However, hearing loss is known to be one of the more common reasons people experience tinnitus. Research estimates that 90% of people who have tinnitus also have at least some degree of hearing loss.
While the relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss isn’t entirely understood, there are theories that help to explain the association.
The vast majority of hearing loss cases are caused by damage to the hair cells of the inner ear. Once these cells are damaged, they send less sensory input to your brain. This lack of stimulation may cause your auditory system to compensate by becoming more sensitive, which leads to misfiring neurons and phantom ringing or other noises.
Why Hearing Aids Reduce Tinnitus
If you have hearing loss, even mild hearing loss, using hearing aids not only makes it easier to catch up with your friends over coffee at Café Marpha, but they can also help you manage your tinnitus as well.
There are several reasons why hearing aids can help with tinnitus management, including:
- Restoration of adequate stimulation to your brain.
- Making it easier for you to hear subtle background noises that can help mask tinnitus.
- Reducing stress, which is known to exacerbate tinnitus symptoms.
- Some models come with specific masking features that can create white noise to cover up ringing or other noises.
To learn more about hearing aids or managing your tinnitus, call the specialists at Hearing Care by Hough to set up an appointment today.