Hearing Aids for Tinnitus
Tinnitus is often described as a subjective high-pitched noise such as a buzzing or hissing sound. It’s known as a subjective noise because it’s not something that others can hear and is typically something that only you alone can hear. Objective tinnitus does exist, but it’s often caused by something a lot more serious that will be picked up when you attend a meeting with a hearing instrument specialist.
The mechanisms that cause tinnitus are often unclear. This is because there are many different reasons that tinnitus could happen and it’s difficult to determine the exact reason why you’re suffering from it without running several tests and trying different treatments.
However, one proven way to help alleviate tinnitus is to use hearing aids, even if hearing loss isn’t also present. With a variety of hearing aids to choose from how do you know which will be the most beneficial?
Hearing aids can help alleviate the symptoms
While hearing aids won’t cure tinnitus, they can mask the tinnitus by amplifying sounds at certain frequencies which can essentially drown out the tinnitus. This means that you’re less likely to hear those annoying buzzing or hissing sounds and your hearing aids will provide gentle relief for your tinnitus. Hearing aids can be programmed by your hearing instrument specialist to meet your specific needs, which allows them to custom-fit your devices and ensure they are comfortable and beneficial to your tinnitus treatment.
With this in mind, we can move on to explain some of the types of hearing aids and features that you could be recommended in order to help you alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus.
Behind-the-ear hearing aids
Behind-the-ear (also known as BTE) hearing aids are often some of the first choices that your hearing instrument specialist will recommend. This is because BTE hearing aids are typically a little larger than other versions, making them fantastic for housing extra hardware which in turn means more features. They could include features like white noise stimulation to mask tinnitus, but they also often feature better amplification of the natural sounds around you.
Another feature of behind-the-ear hearing aids is that they’re often known as open-fit hearing aids. This means that instead of having a hearing aid blocking your entire ear, only a small tube goes over your ear and into your ear canal, meaning it does not create the same sensation you feel when you block your ears with your fingers, otherwise known as an occlusion effect.
Our hearing instrument specialists will help explain any tinnitus-masking features that your hearing aids will have, and they’ll also help recommend you a suitable pair for behind-the-ear hearing aids that will relieve your tinnitus symptoms while also providing you with suitable amplification for your hearing loss.
Combination devices feature sound generators to help override tinnitus sounds. As previously mentioned with behind-the-ear hearing aids, you can stimulate white noise and other sounds with certain types of hearing aids. This will create noises which can effectively mask the sound of tinnitus. You may see typical hearing aids described as combination devices with extra features, and if you ask your hearing instrument specialist, they will be able to recommend the right one for you.
Some combination devices can also produce low-level sounds to help you slowly adjust to the sounds of tinnitus. However, these devices may not be necessary if you utilize hearing aids. Talking to your hearing specialist is the best way to determine which devices will provide you the most relief from your tinnitus.
Discreet hearing aids
Some people prefer to have smaller hearing aids for their discreetness. Luckily, smaller hearing aids like in-the-canal or invisible-in-canal options can help you deal with tinnitus. Although they typically don’t pack as many features or long battery life, they can be equipped and fine-tuned to take care of your tinnitus symptoms.
However, when considering smaller hearing aids like the in-the-canal variety, it’s important to remember that these do have restrictions. Individuals with dexterity issues may struggle to handle these tiny pieces of technology, which can make cleaning, maintenance, inserting, removing and changing batteries a more difficult process.
Tinnitus can be a frustrating condition to deal with, which is why we recommend speaking to one of our professional hearing instrument specialists at Armand’s Hearing Center to find the best treatment available for your tinnitus symptoms. With two convenient locations to serve your hearing care needs, you can reach us at (941) 748-9800 for our Bradenton office, or (813) 938-1148 for our Sun City location.