Do you ever experience a ringing in your ears? If you hear a buzzing, humming, ringing, or whooshing sound in your ears, then you may have tinnitus. Tinnitus is when you hear sounds inside your ears or head when no other external noise is present. According to the American Tinnitus Association, 50 million Americans experience some degree of tinnitus. Tinnitus itself is not a disease, but rather a symptom of another problem. Tinnitus can be caused by loud noise exposure, head colds, stress, ear or sinus infections, or hearing loss. Often times, those who have hearing loss experience symptoms of tinnitus more prominently because their world is quieter. However, those who do not have hearing loss can also experience ringing in their ears.
How Can Hearing Aids Help?
Hearing aids can provide tremendous relief for those who suffer from persistent tinnitus. Even if you don’t have hearing loss, hearing aids can be an effective option to managing your symptoms. There are specific hearing aids that are designed to mask the annoying symptoms of tinnitus. These hearing aids include a wide range of customizable relief sounds — such as ocean waves or white noise. By masking the ringing in your ears, these hearing aids can help you experience relief and to stop focusing on your tinnitus.
If you have hearing loss and experience tinnitus, then your symptoms may seem more persistent or noticeable. Hearing aids can be an effective option to help manage both your hearing loss and tinnitus. Hearing aids will amplify external sounds which will subsequently mask the tinnitus. By wearing hearing aids you will be able to hear the sounds you want to hear, such as voices, the TV, music, and any other sounds that are important to you. By amplifying those sounds, hearing aids will retrain your brain to ignore the ringing in your ears.
Even if you don’t have hearing loss, hearing aids can still be an effective method to alleviating tinnitus. Hearing aids with a tinnitus masking feature can play soothing sounds to distract your brain from your symptoms. You can even control what sounds you hear with an app on your smartphone, allowing you to feel more in control.
If you don’t have hearing loss and don’t want to invest in hearing aids, there are other ways to manage your tinnitus. Sound machines, retraining therapy, counseling, relaxation therapy, and biofeedback are all effective ways to manage the ringing in your ears. Using sound machines is similar to using hearing aids with a tinnitus masking feature, as both devices play relaxing sounds to cover up tinnitus. Counseling and other therapies are also an effective technique to manage symptoms as they focus on ways to reduce stress, a common cause of tinnitus, and to train your brain to ignore the ringing in your ears.
If you do have hearing loss, then combining one of the above management methods along with hearing aids will allow for optimal results. Regardless if you have hearing loss or not, if you experience a ringing in your ears, make an appointment with your local EarQ provider today. A certified hearing specialist can discover the cause of your tinnitus and help you manage it.