Do hearing aids help with ringing in the ears?

Tinnitus is ringing (or other noises) in the ears when no external sound is present. It is largely due to damage to your hearing, and there is no cure for it. It ranges from a mild inconvenience, only noticed in quiet rooms, up to people who can be in full blown despair and almost incapacitated.

Posted Tuesday May 9, 2023

Oftentimes, people first experience tinnitus after a stressful event or time in their life. However, once you have tinnitus, it can ramp up when you are more stressed, drinking more coffee or alcohol, smoking more, or angry. Anything that ramps up your system can make your tinnitus seem louder.

But the good news is a majority of audiologists have indicated that hearing aids alone can provide relief. But, if you don't get relief, hearing aids in conjunction with sound therapy is an excellent treatment option. Most modern hearing aids have sound therapy, or you can get it through noise generation apps.

Playing a very low-level, constant sound ­­– white noise, brown noise, ocean waves, wind chimes – will distract your brain from paying attention to the tinnitus, sometimes for hours or days.

If hearing aids with sound therapy don't work for you, cognitive behavioural therapy is another route to explore. It has been shown to reduce the emotional response to tinnitus.

In rare occasions, particularly if the tinnitus is getting rapidly worse or is in only one ear, there can be underlying health conditions that could require treatment. Your audiologist can determine if it is something that needs additional investigation.

So if you start to hear a continuous ringing, hissing, or buzzing that's not in the environment, it’s time to get your hearing tested, and from there the treatment process can be varied.

This information is from a Starkey Sound Bites podcast where Dave Fabry, Ph.D and Jamie Myers, Au.D. answered the question, “Can hearing aids reduce tinnitus?”

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