Before we begin, let’s just get one thing straight:
If you have Tinnitus, it is usually a direct result of hearing loss; in other words, it’s a symptom and not a cause.
That said, to tackle your Tinnitus, you actually want to tackle your hearing loss, which in turn will ease the symptoms of Tinnitus and in some cases eradicate it.
Going back to basics
To understand how hearing aids can relieve Tinnitus, you’d be smart to know why Tinnitus is at all related to hearing loss in the first place.
(And we’ll make sure it’s in a language we all understand!)
OK, so hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair cells in the inner ear become damaged, whether from exposure to loud noise, ageing, or even some medications.
Because sound is always trying to get from the ear to the brain, when it’s damaged, the brain almost tries to “make up for” the lack of sound, and it therefore produces the ringing that we have come to know and loathe as Tinnitus.
So, what has this got to do with hearing aids?
The very purpose of bilateral hearing aids (as in, one in each ear) is to mechanically aid the sound from the canal through the cochlea and on into the brain, which means there’s no need for the brain to compensate for the lack of sound.
Put simply, there’s no need for the Tinnitus to exist.
And, of course, with the advancement in modern technology, a lot of hearing aids are also fitted with a “Tinnitus Masker,” which further aids the process.
On the other hand, for patients suffering from severe Tinnitus, hearing aids alone might not be able to completely fix the problem, although they will offer some welcome relief by emitting the sounds of your environment and “overruling” the annoyance of the tenacious tinny ring.
Are there any other reasons?
In the name of keeping this blog easy going, we’re sticking to a non-medical tone, but in all honesty, it doesn’t end there.
There are many forms of hearing aids, some better than others. For example, there’s the “open fit” hearing aids that use a very fine tube or speaker to deliver the sound, or there’s the “combination” type that comes with a sound generator. Each has their pros as well as their cons.
What do I do now?
Hearing aids, although effective, are certainly an investment. Our advice to you is to book an appointment with us (or, if you have an Audiologist who’s equally as friendly) and we’ll talk you through your options.
Call us at 281-444-9800 or fill out our contact form.
We’ll get you booked in, seen to, and kept up to speed in no time.
We hope to see you here very soon.
Dr. Lacey Brooks received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry in 2003, and earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009. She completed her clinical internships and residency at various facilities within Houston Medical Center. Dr. Brooks is a professional member of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), a member of the Texas Academy of Audiology (TAA), and is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She is also the vice president of the Louisiana State University Houston Chapter Alumni Association.