Tinnitus is a common problem. Although most people experience tinnitus symptoms on a short-term basis, tinnitus can be a chronic issue that starts to impact daily life. If you experience tinnitus on a regular basis, or your symptoms have become more severe recently, it’s a good idea to seek professional help and to undergo tests to see if there is an underlying cause or evidence of hearing loss. Hearing loss and tinnitus are often linked.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF TINNITUS
Tinnitus is sometimes known as ringing in the ears. It occurs when you can hear noises that don’t have an external source. Ringing is the most common type of sound, but it’s also possible to hear buzzing, humming, hissing and swooshing sounds. In most cases, tinnitus occurs as a result of exposure to loud music. If you’ve been at a concert, you may find that your ears are ringing when you climb into bed. Most people will experience short-term tinnitus at least once in their lifetime. In temporary cases, tinnitus doesn’t tend to cause problems. However, it is possible for tinnitus to become a long-term issue, and some people experience symptoms over prolonged periods of time. If you have severe symptoms, or your symptoms are affecting your quality of life, it’s essential to seek help.
HEARING LOSS AND TINNITUS
The exact nature of the relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus isn’t fully understood, but the two are often linked. Although hearing loss doesn’t cause tinnitus per say, it can make the symptoms of tinnitus worse. This is due to a sound void, which is brought about by hearing loss. If you struggle to hear, the sounds you can hear as a result of tinnitus appear louder because there are no other noises to mask the ringing and humming sounds. If you have tinnitus, it can also be even harder to detect and hear sounds that are generated by external sources. If you’re trying to listen to the radio and you can hear buzzing and ringing in your ears, this task will become more challenging.
As hearing loss tends to be gradual, many people don’t realize that their tinnitus symptoms are linked to hearing loss until they have tests to try and identify a cause.
HEARING AIDS AND TINNITUS
Hearing aids play an important role in enabling people who have signs of hearing loss to hear better. These innovative devices, which are positioned either inside or behind the ear, amplify sounds to make it easier to hear. Hearing aids are used widely to treat people who have hearing loss, which may or may not be linked to tinnitus. If you do have tinnitus, and tests show that you also have a degree of hearing loss, an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist may recommend trying hearing aids. Hearing aids are a very effective remedy for hearing loss, and they can also help to reduce the severity of tinnitus.
Hearing aids can be beneficial for those with tinnitus because they enable you to hear background noise and sounds that would previously have gone undetected. When you can hear better, this reduces the impact of tinnitus symptoms. If hearing aids are recommended, a hearing instrument specialist will be able to discuss different types and styles with you and make suggestions based on the results of your hearing assessment and your personal preferences.
OTHER TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR TINNITUS
Hearing aids are not the only treatment that can be used to tackle tinnitus, and in some cases, alternatives may be beneficial. These include using sound machines and undergoing tinnitus retraining therapy. Sound machines generate noises, which can help to distract you from your symptoms, especially when it’s quiet. Sound machines tend to be a popular choice for people who find it hard to get to sleep or to switch off at night when it’s quieter. Tinnitus retraining therapy is a means of training the brain to shut off signs of tinnitus so that you become less aware of your symptoms.
Tinnitus can affect people who can hear normally, but in many cases of severe or long-term tinnitus, hearing loss can play a role in making symptoms worse. Hearing aids can help to fill the void created by hearing loss, reducing the intensity of ringing and hissing noises. Many people who struggle with tinnitus don’t realize that their hearing has deteriorated until they have tests and using hearing aids can help to improve hearing and prevent tinnitus at the same time.
To learn more about how one of our hearing care providers can help you, contact us today! We are experts who can help with any type of hearing loss you may have. Call us today at 1-888-553-7520.