Constant ringing in your ears, known as tinnitus, can be incredibly annoying, interfering with your ability to focus and increasing your level of stress throughout the day. If you've tried common remedies for tinnitus, such as using a white noise machine and taking B vitamins, but the ringing is still there, perhaps it's time to look into another treatment: hearing aids.
Why and how do hearing aids treat tinnitus?
Many people who suffer from tinnitus also suffer from slight hearing loss. Chances are, this hearing loss is not so severe that you'd notice it on your own. But it contributes to your tinnitus by making the sounds in your environment less pronounced. In the absence of environmental sounds, the ringing caused by tinnitus is more noticeable.
Your doctor can determine if you suffer from minor hearing loss with a few simple tests. If you do indeed suffer from hearing loss, hearing aids will be prescribed. By magnifying the noises in the environment, the hearing aids "mask" the ringing noises in your ears. You may still notice some ringing when you're in a quiet space, but adding noises such as those from a white noise machine will be more effective with your hearing aids than without. Contact a company like Hearing Specialists of DuPage for more information.
What types of hearing aids are best?
Today, most hearing aids are almost invisible to the observer, so you don't have to worry about wearing ugly, clunky devices to avoid tinnitus. Those marketed as "invisible" hearing aids are a good choice. These tiny hearing aids fit inside your ear canal where nobody can see them. They're not suitable for severe hearing loss, but should be more than adequate for your minor, barely noticeable hearing loss. Your doctor will help program yours to the right setting.
Another suitable option is a device marketed as "hearing amplifiers." These fit entirely into the ear canal and amplify noises a fixed, slight amount to compensate for very minor hearing loss. You can easily take the device in and out as needed.
Can hearing aids be used in conjunction with other therapies for tinnitus?
Yes! In fact, most doctors will recommend that in addition to using hearing aids, you also undergo treatment to address the root cause of your tinnitus. If you suffer from high blood pressure (a common contributor to tinnitus), your doctor will want you to take blood pressure-lowering medications as well. If your tinnitus is made worse by excessive earwax buildup, having your ears professionally cleaned on a regular basis will help.