Do Hearing Aids Reduce Tinnitus?

02/16/2021 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources, Tinnitus

Are you bothered by persistent buzzing or ringing in the ears? Are you wondering if hearing aids would help? When you have tinnitus, those around you can’t hear what you hear.

But other sufferers know exactly how you feel. Tinnitus affects up to 15% of the world’s population, so you aren’t alone in your quest to silence that nagging sound.

Since February is a month devoted to tinnitus awareness, we’d like to shed some light on this frustrating condition by explaining how hearing aids impact tinnitus.

Audiologists often recommend hearing aids to treat tinnitus. But tinnitus has many causes, so hearing aids aren’t always the answer. Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center offers a comprehensive plan to treat your symptoms based on your unique circumstances.

Let’s take a look at whether hearing aids will reduce tinnitus for you.

What Causes Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is common in those with hearing loss, but it’s also caused by things like ear injuries, temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ), certain medications, ear wax occlusion, and circulatory system issues.

For those who experience tinnitus with hearing loss, it might stem from short-term noise exposure, such as dental drilling or a loud concert. Or it might develop more gradually with age as the nerve fibers in your ears decrease.

Different causes require different treatments, and all patients experience tinnitus differently. Some will have mild, sporadic ringing in the ears, while others have persistent, disruptive tinnitus that causes anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.

As your doctor of audiology, I specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, as well as tinnitus management. So, I am uniquely qualified to find the cause of your symptoms and help you hear peacefully again.

State-of-the-art tinnitus management

How Do Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus?

For those with hearing loss, hearing aids can be therapeutic for tinnitus. One benefit is the ability to increase the volume of the sounds you want to hear, like conversations, and reduce the distracting ringing, buzzing, or clicking in your ear.

Another advantage is that our team can administer sound therapy through the hearing aid to help mask the unwanted sounds. This might include white noise, low-level music, or customized sounds you choose.

However, it’s important to note that not all patients with tinnitus have hearing loss, nor will tinnitus cause hearing loss. So, hearing aids aren’t right for everyone. In addition, the sound masking that some audiologists use prevents your brain from habituating or adapting to the sound of tinnitus.

Since tinnitus is incurable, the habituation process is key in learning to manage the condition so that your brain redirects its focus.

In addition, tinnitus might be worsened by hearing aids if they are poorly fitted or are covered in ear wax, both of which can cause buzzing and whistling sounds that aggravate tinnitus. 

At Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center, we’ll determine whether hearing aids are right for you and also select the perfect style, fit, settings, and features to manage your tinnitus.

If hearing aids aren’t advised, we offer several other solutions to minimize symptoms.

What Other Treatments Are Recommended for Tinnitus?

In addition to state-of-the-art hearing aids, our team offers various advanced techniques and instruments to eliminate the debilitating effects of tinnitus. With Desyncra Sound Therapy, we can disrupt the neural signals that cause the sound.

We also offer Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, using habituation to acclimate you to the sound. Through Medication Therapy, we address the anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders that accompany tinnitus.

With the Sound Pillow® Sleep System, we restore quality sleep to patients bothered by tinnitus at night. We also determine whether alternative therapies like counseling or biofeedback would be instrumental in relief.

Our team understands that hearing aids help some patients with tinnitus, but it’s a condition that requires a more in-depth investigation and a customized solution.

How Do I Know if I Should Try Hearing Aids? 

If you or a loved one suffers from troubling tinnitus symptoms, please don’t wait any longer. Get in touch with our team today to schedule a consultation to see how we can help.  It’s time to silence the noise.

If hearing aids aren’t required, we won’t suggest them, like some hearing care providers would. Instead, we’ll use the appropriate treatment, tailored to your individual needs and preferences.

Our patients trust us to do what’s right, and so do their referring physicians. It’s just one of the reasons patients love Alaska Hearing & Tinnitus Center!

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Dr. Emily E McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!

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