In this article we will share the most important things you should know about Tinnitus and hearing aids. 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 which leads to a constant ringing sound in the ears. Some sufferers also hear whistling, hissing, or clicking sounds. The condition which affects more than 50 million Americans, is sometimes temporary, but in many people it is chronic.
What researchers say about hearing loss in the US:
What causes tinnitus?
Even though some young adults and children may suffer from tinnitus, it usually occurs in people aged over 50.
Tinnitus is caused by damage to the tiny sensory hairs 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 mostly caused 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.
Can tinnitus be cured?
Unfortunately, tinnitus cannot be cured, but most people do 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. This is because tinnitus often leads to insomnia which then affects all aspects of their daily routine.
If the tinnitus is caused by any underlying issues, including an ear infection or earwax that has accumulated in the ear, then it can be treated.
In extreme cases where the tinnitus is threatening 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.
Interesting facts about NANO hearing aids:
What is sound therapy?
Special external sounds are introduced to help cover the sounds of the tinnitus with sound therapy. 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.
Hearing aids, tinnitus, and communication
Tinnitus doesn’t cause hearing loss, but interestingly, 80% 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 are effective in treating both problems simultaneously and according to a 2007 survey of hearing specialists, 60% of people with hearing loss experience some form of tinnitus relief when wearing hearing aids.
Tinnitus, like hearing loss, does diminish the quality of life of sufferers, and wearing hearing aids helps them to 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.
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 auditory pathways of the brain 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 a good 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 and some include 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 once more. They can follow conversations, speak on the phone, watch television, and listen to the radio once more.
What Americans say about NANO hearing aids:
Which hearing aids are best for tinnitus?
These are currently some of the best hearing aids to help alleviate tinnitus sounds for sufferers;
Nano hearing aids
We believe this is the best hearing aid device for people with tinnitus:
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 all its 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 models that have Tinnitus SoundSupport and these include Oticon Alta 2 Po Ti, Nera 2 Pro Ti, and Ria 2 Pro Ti. They have a variety of 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 the Zen Tinnitus Therapy which 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 Technologies 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 as well as personalized sound therapies. It is available in the Muse, 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.
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.
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