Will Hearing Aids Help with Ringing in the Ears?
Tinnitus is a condition that causes a ringing, clicking or buzzing sound in the ears. Many people that experience this condition wonder if hearing aids can help to manage the symptoms and what the relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss is.
There is a strong relationship between the two and around 80% of people with tinnitus will also experience some form of hearing loss. So, if you have a ringing sound in your ears, it is a good idea to speak to a hearing instrument specialist about potential treatments.
What is tinnitus and how is it related to hearing loss?
Tinnitus affects everybody in different ways, but the majority of people hear a ringing, buzzing or clicking sound. For some people, it is present the majority of the time while other people only experience it occasionally. This makes it difficult to concentrate on other sounds around you, so it can have a big impact on your hearing, even though it is not a direct cause of hearing loss.
Hearing loss can also lead to an increase in tinnitus symptoms. Hearing loss often affects signals sent from the ear to the brain, which may cause unwanted audio activity. This unwanted activity manifests itself as the symptoms of tinnitus.
What causes tinnitus?
There are several things that can potentially cause tinnitus. In some cases, it is permanent but it can also be temporary. These are some of the most common causes of tinnitus.
Exposure to loud noises
You may notice a ringing in the ears after being exposed to loud noises. That may be a single loud noise, like a gunshot or explosion or it may be a prolonged noise, like loud music or the sounds of a construction site. If you are exposed to these noises without adequate ear protection, this can lead to tinnitus. In many cases, it will be temporary and should fade after a few days. However, if the symptoms persist, you should speak to a hearing instrument specialist about hearing aids.
Certain medications can cause symptoms of tinnitus. So, if you have recently started taking a new medication and you notice a change in your hearing, speak to your doctor and see if there are any alternatives that you can take instead.
Age-related hearing loss
As you get older, you are more likely to experience hearing loss because the amount of nerve fibers in your ears decreases. This kind of hearing loss is often associated with the symptoms of tinnitus.
These are the main causes of tinnitus but it may also be caused by wax blockages in the ear, injury to the ears or neck and respiratory infections. Whatever the cause, you should speak to a hearing instrument specialist about how hearing aids can help with tinnitus.
How do hearing aids manage tinnitus?
In many cases, people with tinnitus also experience hearing loss and both issues can be managed with hearing aids.
Modern hearing aids are very effective at isolating and amplifying specific sounds. This means that in situations where your tinnitus would normally make it difficult to hear certain sounds, you will find it a lot easier. For example, if you are having a conversation, the sound of the other person’s voice will be louder, which makes it easier to ignore the tinnitus and focus on the sounds that you want to hear.
Many modern hearing aids come with specific sound programs, which are designed to distract the brain from the tinnitus symptoms and redirect attention to other sounds. These are particularly effective for people with severe tinnitus symptoms.
By making the symptoms of tinnitus less noticeable and amplifying the sounds around you, hearing aids make it far easier to concentrate on tasks and engage in conversations, so they will have a positive impact on your overall quality of life. Lack of sleep is a common problem for people with tinnitus too, and this can have far reaching effects on your general health and wellbeing. However, the right hearing aids can reduce tinnitus symptoms at night and drastically improve your sleep patterns.
If you think you may be experiencing tinnitus, it is important to determine what the root cause is. In some cases, it may be exposure to loud noises or medication that you are taking, in which case, it could be temporary. However, if the symptoms persist, you should speak to an hearing instrument specialist about potential hearing loss.
Here at Stanwood Hearing, we can help to diagnose the cause of your tinnitus and a hearing instrument specialist will be able to recommend hearing aids to manage the symptoms. To learn more, get in touch today with us today at 360-502-4644.