Do Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus?
Hearing aids are a very popular tool that can help reinstate your ability to hear. They’re primarily used as a solution to hearing loss, but it’s possible to use hearing aids for other issues as well. Mainly, there are links between it and tinnitus - but do hearing aids really help with this issue?
For those that don’t know, tinnitus is where you hear a ringing, buzzing or clicking sensation all the time. It’s coming from inside your ears so no one else can hear it around you. This sensation can easily drive you crazy as it’s all you hear all the time! So, will hearing aids help with this? The short answer is yes, but we’ll explain this in more detail below.
Hearing aids treat tinnitus as a symptom of hearing loss
In a lot of cases, an audiologist will find that tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss. It occurs when something is damaged in the ear, which usually results in the sensory cells dying as well. The ringing begins, and it becomes amplified as your hearing fades because you fail to hear other sounds in the world around you.
So, in these cases, a hearing aid can be used to treat tinnitus by treating hearing loss. Essentially, the device will amplify the sounds around you, so you have more things to focus on. This can drown out the ringing in your ears, leaving you with no tinnitus to worry about!
Hearing aids have tinnitus-masking features
It’s incredibly common to experience tinnitus without hearing loss as well. There are plenty of things that can cause this - persistent ear infections, exposure to loud noises or impacted earwax. In these cases, using a hearing aid to treat hearing loss by amplifying the noises around you won’t make any difference. You can already hear fine, but you still have the ringing sensation in your head.
Here, hearing aids are used to treat tinnitus with masking features. Talk to your audiologist about this, and they will show you devices that have these specific features. Essentially, they work to help block out your tinnitus by using white noise therapy. This sound is played into your ears, and it covers up the ringing or buzzing sensation that’s causing you to go insane.
Hearing aids don’t cure tinnitus
While it’s clear that an audiologist can use hearing aids to treat your tinnitus, it’s essential to realize that they won’t cure it. If you have permanent tinnitus as a result of hearing loss or damage to your inner ear cells, then you’ll have it for life. Hearing aids just help you forget about the symptoms, making it easier to live your life without constant paranoia! In some instances, your tinnitus will fade away by itself, but this is in cases where it’s temporary - for example, when you go to a concert and your ears are ringing for a day or two after.
So, to summarize, hearing aids do help tinnitus - but they won’t cure it. Always consult an audiologist whenever you’re looking for tinnitus treatment, and they will help find the best devices to control your symptoms.