Learn About Best Hearing Aids for Tinnitus: Get ReliefPublished On
In this article, we will share essential facts about tinnitus and hearing aids that you should know. As a proud American manufacturer of digital hearing aids, with considerable R&D along with community outreach to understand what the public needs most in the hearing aid industry, this is our cause as much as it is yours!
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus refers to a condition that leads to sound that constantly ringing in the ears. Some sufferers also hear whistling, hissing, or clicking sounds. The disease, which affects more than 50 million Americans, is sometimes temporary, but in many people it is chronic.
Who Experience Tinnitus
Tinnitus is very common in older adults. Adults from 40 to 70 years old are at risk of experiencing tinnitus majorly.
Other than age, loud noise exposure, sex, alcohol and tobacco abuse, and chronic health disease can introduce tinnitus to a person.
If you work in a noisy area, it can affect your nerves and cause damage to your ear. Also, Men are more likely to develop tinnitus than women. Tobacco and alcohol can hamper blood flow to the ear and initiate the declination of nerves.
High blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, head injury, arthritis are also significant reasons for experiencing tinnitus.
Hearing Aids and Tinnitus
Tinnitus doesn’t cause hearing loss, but interestingly, about 90% of tinnitus sufferers also have hearing loss. The sounds from the tinnitus can become a problem for people who already have some hearing loss as it makes it difficult for them to hear other sounds.
Hearing aids effectively treat both problems simultaneously and according to Statista, 2017 survey on adults in the U.S. who had been diagnosed with selected medical conditions depicts that 4% of them suffers from hearing loss due to tinnitus. This huge quantity of US Adults can get tinnitus relief wearing prescribed hearing aids.
Tinnitus, like hearing loss, does diminish the quality of life of sufferers, and wearing hearing aids helps them overcome these problems. Hearing aids, in these cases have a double impact because it not only improves communication but also reduces the stress that comes from hearing loss.
Hearing aids can be great maskers for tinnitus because the loudness of tinnitus can be masked with a hearing aid by introducing an ambient background noise or by slightly amplifying background sound to drown it out.
Increasing background noise stimulates the brain's auditory pathways because it picks up sounds that it previously couldn’t. If the hearing loss is in the same frequency range as the tinnitus, masking is an excellent way to reduce it.
It appears that open-fitting hearing aids and digital hearing aids are particularly beneficial to people with tinnitus. The amplified sounds that they produce help push the tinnitus into the background, including sound masking functions.
People who have lost their ability to communicate because of loud tinnitus find that hearing aids augment external volume making them more socially active. They can follow conversations, speak on the phone, watch television, and listen to the radio once more.
What to Look for in a Hearing Aids for Tinnitus
There are a few important factors you should look out for while getting a hearing aid to cope with tinnitus. Let’s take a look at them in detail:
This is a crucial factor while getting a pair of hearing aids. Most people tend to back up from getting a hearing aid due to the high price.
The problem is, cheaper hearing aids may not be able to address the tinnitus problem properly. On the other hand, good-quality hearing aids can cost from 4000 USD to 10,000 USD.
The good thing is, OTC hearing aids will soon be available for purchasing. That way, you can get a good-quality hearing aid without burning a hole in your pocket.
Battery life is another important factor for hearing aids. Some hearing aids can come with rechargeable batteries, while some may require changing after a while. Long battery life will make your hearing aid device easier to use.
If you are getting a hearing aid with rechargeable batteries, make sure to ask how long the battery will provide backup.
Almost everyone is now carrying a smartphone. Many hearing aids now can be calibrated and controlled through smartphones. So, if you are getting a new hearing aid, make sure it is connectable with smartphones.
By connecting with smartphones, the hearing aids can be calibrated and adjusted easily. Also, you can introduce more functions to adopt your hearing aids in various situations.
There are various styles of hearing aids. Some hearing aids sit on the ear and are visible from the outside. Also, there are some hearing aids that sit in the ear canal and are barely visible.
If you are not comfortable sharing your disability, you may be partial to in-the-canal hearing aids. In-the-canal hearing aids can be considered invisible hearing aids.
On the other hand, you can turn your visible hearing aid into a fashion statement piece.
While purchasing a hearing aid, make sure to get a durable one. You’ll need to use your hearing aid almost all the time. So, get one that is durable and easily cleanable.
A hearing aid should be multifunctional. Otherwise, it cannot provide you with the best services. In addition to being connected with smartphones, it should be able to receive calls, control volume, and be able to be connected by Bluetooth.
Noise Cancelling Feature
A good hearing aid should be able to cancel outside noise. Without a good noise-canceling feature, the user won’t be able to hear sounds effectively.
FDA approval is quite crucial to know if a device can be used effectively. As hearing aids are medical devices, it needs to maintain some safety procedures. A device not approved by the FDA may not provide you the best possible hearing.
Last but not least, you’ll need to know what other customers are saying about the device. It will ensure you if the device is as good as it claims or not. Also, it will give you a clear idea if the device can fulfill your hearing requirements.
Which are the Best Hearing Aids for Tinnitus? - Best Hearing Aids for Tinnitus Reviews
These are currently some of the best hearing aids that help with tinnitus and alleviate the ringing in the ears for sufferers.
Nano Hearing Aids
We believe this is one of the best noise canceling hearing aids for tinnitus sufferers
Nano Sigma is the powerful hearing aid from Nano digital hearing that will work best for tinnitus sufferers. Users can control the hearing aids and sound amplification and reductions for four different sound environments from their smartphone and the Nano mobile app. Specific frequencies can also be adjusted, helping tinnitus suffers to find the frequency that best masks it. The hearing aids have noise reduction technology and two directional microphones to enhance sound quality.
With the application, the user can take a hearing test and the hearing aids will adjust the frequency for the left and right ear, respectively.
Oticon Hearing Aids
Oticon has a few Tinnitus sound support models, including Oticon Alta 2 Po Ti, Nera 2 Pro Ti, and Ria 2 Pro Ti. They have various sounds to choose from to offer relief and the hearing aids can be connected to a smartphone or other device, from the Tinnitus Sound App. Here users can customize options for sound therapies or listen to music from their playlists.
Widex Hearing Aids
The Widex Zen Tinnitus amplifies sounds that the wearer wants to hear for tinnitus relief. It also offers them the ability to reduce stress and relax through Zen Tinnitus Therapy that is available in several models. There is also a model that is not a hearing aid but designed for people with tinnitus. The four-step therapy includes counseling, amplification, acoustic stimulation, and relaxation exercises.
Phonak Hearing Aids
With the Phonak Tinnitus Balance, wearers are offered the experience of a hearing aid, broadband nose generator, and sound therapy. These can be accessed from their app which is available for iPhone and Android devices. The Tinnitus Balance needs to be customized by an audiologist for their individual needs.
Starkey Hearing Aids
Starkey has a sound masking therapy to address tinnitus. The Multiflex Tinnitus Technology is available in three of their models and it offers daily relief and personalized sound therapies. It is available in the Muse, and Halo 2 made for iPhone and SoundLens.
Several models of the Signia Primax offer relief from tinnitus and they have speech recognition, reverberation reduction and the EchoShield offers sound protection. The Primax Pure, Ace, Motion, and Insio, offer tinnitus therapy with static tones and ocean sounds.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Even though some young adults and children may suffer from tinnitus, it usually occurs in people aged over 50.
The causes of tinnitus are the damage and loss of the tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear or cochlea. This damage can be inflicted by various things, including underlying medical conditions. However, the most common causes are noise exposure that has been ongoing and excessive, injuries to the head and neck, certain medications, and ear infections.
Doctors usually determine the underlying cause with a general physical examination. If there is no underlying cause an ear specialist or audiologist will test the hearing and nerves in the ear with an audiogram. If they suspect that it’s a structural problem, then an MRI or CT Scan is done.
However, recent studies suggest that tinnitus is caused mainly by the brain when there is a sensory loss of certain sound frequencies. The brain starts to change how it processes sounds as it receives less external stimulation and attempts to fill in the missing sound frequencies.
Hearing Test for Tinnitus
If you assume you are suffering from tinnitus, you’ll need to take a hearing test. In this test, you’ll need to sit in a soundproof room with headphones in the ear. Then the audiologist will play various sounds one ear at a time.
Then the audiologist will ask you to verify the sounds. Then your results will be compared to the typical results of your group. Then, the audiologist can identify or rule out the possible causes of tinnitus.
Does Tinnitus Go Away?
Unfortunately, tinnitus cannot be cured, but most people usually adjust to the constant ringing in their ears, even though this does take some time. However, for one in every 5 people, the condition can lead to irritability, anxiety, depression, and difficulty in concentrating. Though tinnitus and insomnia are two different things, tinnitus often leads to insomnia affecting all aspects of their daily routine.
If the tinnitus is caused by any underlying issues, including an ear infection or earwax accumulated in the ear, it can be treated.
In extreme cases where tinnitus threatens the well-being of a person, anti-anxiety treatments may be prescribed and cognitive therapy or sound therapy does help.
If the tinnitus is accompanied by hearing loss, then hearing aids have proven to benefit them.
How Can Tinnitus be Managed?
Although tinnitus cannot be treated, there are ways it can be managed. Here are two ways you can manage your tinnitus.
Tinnitus Management Program
The goal of the tinnitus management program is to manage the tinnitus symptoms so that it doesn’t interfere with your daily life. Depending on the tinnitus condition, a patient needs to go through three stages of this program.
In the first stage, it may take 90 minutes to understand the nature of your tinnitus. If you are having trouble sleeping, feeling depressed, or anxious, you will need to go through this stage.
The second stage is a two-hour session where the first hour is dedicated to evaluating your ear’s function, tinnitus, and hearing. The second hour is dedicated to consulting your evaluation.
The third stage is one-year sound therapy for tinnitus. Depending on the severity of your tinnitus condition, this stage can exceed 12 months.
Stress Anxiety Management
Tinnitus can increase the anxiety level in a person. The person may experience a lack of sleep and depression along with buzzing noise in the ear. It will keep the patient restless and stressed.
With stress anxiety management, the person can keep the tinnitus symptoms manageable. Physical exercise, a balanced diet, quality sleep, and relaxing activities can effectively help you in stress anxiety management.
Sound Therapy for Tinnitus
Sound therapy for tinnitus is beneficial for those who have tinnitus problem. In this therapy, special external sounds are introduced to help cover the sounds of the tinnitus. These can be played through hearing aids from smartphone apps and can include various sounds that the person listens to shift their focus away from the ringing. These sounds could be special ear-masking noise, music played at a low level, white noise, and even customized sounds.
Check in with us today to make sure you get your hands on a Nano hearing aid set that will be best suited for your needs – and, priced in an affordable range.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is there any cure for tinnitus?
Ans: There is no known permanent cure for tinnitus yet and it is tough for physicians to study as it can not be measured unless patients tell us how bad it is hurting them. However, some drugs might help lessen the severity of symptoms but not necessarily works for everyone.
Nano Hearing Aids avoid using tertiary references, they draw only from peer-reviewed academic research, medical journals, and studies.
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011 - 2012)
- Hearing Loss Facts and Statistics
- Researched by JNeurosci