Tinnitus is a specific type of hearing problem which is common these days. According to the US Centers for Disease Control estimates, around 15% of people in America are suffering from tinnitus of some sort. That is more than 50 million Americans. Furthermore, based on the reports of the Hearing Loss Association of America, 90 percent of the people that suffer from tinnitus, also suffer from hearing loss problems. If you have this condition, and don’t want to disclose it when you are out in public, invisible hearing aids can come in handy. This article will work as the complete guide to invisible hearing aids for tinnitus.
What Is Tinnitus?
As we have already seen, tinnitus can be described as a ringing or buzzing sound. It can also be described as a beeping, hissing, or clicking sound in a person's ears that only the person can hear. The sound can be constant, or it can come and go. The intensity and type of noise differ from person to person. The noise can be low-pitched, deep, or high-pitched. The type and intensity can also change at times.
This problem can occur anytime and anywhere. It can be like you are talking to someone on your phone, or you are in a meeting, or you are just sitting in silence, and suddenly you can start listening to those buzzing or ringing noises despite not having a source for the noise anywhere near you. Tinnitus can be distracting. It won’t let you concentrate on anything, no matter if the sound is severe or mild, constant or occasional.
How Hearing Aids Can Help with Tinnitus
We have already mentioned that around 90% of people that have tinnitus also suffer from hearing loss problems to some degree. So, they need to use hearing aids anyway to listen better and get on with their everyday lives. Hearing aids amplify sounds for them and help them listen to the sounds. Apart from that, specific hearing aids for tinnitus use unique features to help with tinnitus problems.
Here are the ways hearing aids can help with tinnitus:
Sound Therapy Options
The special hearing aids for tinnitus provide sound therapy options that augment external noise, making tinnitus's internal noises to perceive. This helps your brain focus on the outside sounds.
Hearing aids for tinnitus also provide auditory stimulation that can provide relief from tinnitus for a short period. Various types of sounds can be used in this feature.
The loud internal noises of tinnitus can make it difficult for a person to participate in conversations. Special hearing aids for tinnitus augment external sounds over the perceived volume of the sounds of Tinnitus. This way a person can properly listen to conversations without much trouble.
Wearing modern hearing aids for tinnitus can effectively deal with this problem, as these hearing aids provide 'tinnitus masking' technology and other sound-amplifying options. Tinnitus masking is perfect as tinnitus therapy. The technology also helps to provide sound masking.
Invisible Hearing Aids for Tinnitus: Buying Guide
Hearing aids are something that you need to choose based on your sense of style too. Many people like to wear hearing aids that aren't very noticeable. So, there are highly discreet or invisible hearing aids available that can fit their needs perfectly.
These invisible hearing aids are known as invisible in-canal hearing aids too. They are tiny in size and discreet. They are almost totally unnoticeable to others. These hearing aids are designed to sit deep inside your ear canals comfortably.
Invisible hearing aids aren't for everyone. Not everyone has ear canals suited for these types of hearing aids. People with narrow, small, or differently shaped ear canals won't use them comfortably.
Also, dexterity is another critical issue. People dealing with small things, can face problems with these hearing aids, as they are tiny in size.
How to Choose These Hearing Aids
Invisible hearing aids are the least intrusive and smallest of all types of hearing aids. There are two specific kinds of invisible hearing aids, In-the-Canal or ITC, and Completely-in-Canal or CIC hearing aids. Both these kinds are customized to fit the specific sizes and shapes of ear canals. CIC hearing aids sit in the ear canals completely, whereas the ITC ones sit in them partially.
When you are choosing invisible hearing aids for tinnitus, choose the type you want for yourself. The kind you will be more comfortable with will suit your ear canals more and you should go for that one. Invisible hearing aids are mainly for mild to moderate hearing loss, so if you have hearing loss in that range along with tinnitus, they will be perfect for you.
There are special hearing aids called lyric hearing aids that also specialize in being invisible. These hearing aids are placed some millimeters within your ear canal, so they are practically invisible. They can be kept on all day long, and they provide more comfort than any other traditional hearing aids.
Both lyric and invisible hearing aids provide excellent support for tinnitus, especially the lyric ones. The lyric ones provide increased input into a person’s auditory pathway that helps them ignore the internal tinnitus noises.
Also, you can go for ITC or CIC hearing aids that provide tinnitus masking features, along with sound therapy, audio stimulation, etc. They will help you get relief from tinnitus, and the irritating sensations it causes.
How Can You Get Rid of Tinnitus
To date, there is no known way of completely curing tinnitus. You can turn to tinnitus management options of several types to give yourself some relief. There are some effective ways of dealing with tinnitus, such as sound therapy, tinnitus masking, etc.
With sound therapy, external sounds are brought in to mask the problematic tinnitus noises. The external sound can be anything, like specialized ear masking noises, white noise, low-level music, or you can even use customized sounds of your own. It becomes easier for you to shift your attention from tinnitus noises by listening to sounds of various types.
Tinnitus masking works almost in the same way as to sound therapy. With tinnitus masking, external sounds are used to cover up the sounds of tinnitus. However, in this case, some degree of tinnitus sounds are masked for providing relief but some of the tinnitus sounds are left audible to allow the user to get used to masking.
Apart from sound therapy and tinnitus masking, there are some other tinnitus management programs. Some anxiety and stress management options can help with tinnitus to some degree. However, like with any other hearing problem, the most effective way to deal with tinnitus is using hearing aids.
At first, you might not think of tinnitus as being too problematic. This may prevent you from seeking treatment and keep it untreated. Tinnitus is something that you need to take care of immediately and you need to go through specific steps to get relief from it. Using hearing aids with specific features is the best way to deal with this problem. Make sure that you are getting appropriate hearing aids that will help you get relief from tinnitus.
- Hobson, J., Chisholm, E., El Refaie, A. (2012) “Sound Therapy (Masking) in the Management of Tinnitus in Adults.” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD006371. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006371.pub3.
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