Time To Read: 5 minutes
Hearing aids can help with tinnitus, we examine how.
In the past hearing aids were not a very successful intervention for tinnitus even tough hearing loss and ringing in the ears often go hand-in-hand. This was due to a variety of factors mainly brought on by the limited technology in hearing aids, but was also due to an incomplete understanding of tinnitus until not too long ago.
Even today, some hearing specialists and doctors do not understand ringing in the ears and it's successful management as well as they should. They often tell patients that there is nothing that can be done and you just need to learn to live with it!
Fortunately a lot has changed since those dark days when you were simply told to live with the tinnitus. The people who said this obviously were not tinnitus sufferers themselves and did not realise what a negative statement this was to make to someone experiencing severe tinnitus.
We follow the Neurophysiological model of tinnitus and we have achieve great success in controlling tinnitus using carefully selected hearing aids when hearing loss is present as well. This means that patients not only experience noticeable relief from their tinnitus, but also gain benefit by improving their hearing at the same time.
Hearing aids used for tinnitus control need to have very specific characteristics and need to be tuned in by a clinician experienced in tinnitus in order to give the full benefit. Our Senior audiologist, a past tinnitus sufferer himself, is highly trained and experienced in tinnitus management with hearing aids and this information is shared between all our clinicians. Most of our clinicians also have specific training in the Neurophysiological model of tinnitus. Without the necessary experience, training and support your chances of getting tinnitus relief with hearing aids would likely be very limited.
2013 is also the year that many manufacturers are introducing tinnitus reduction features into their hearing aids. I have not seen any research on the efficacy of any of these systems in particular, but the concept generally seems based around Tinnitus Masking, which can form an important part of a decent tinnitus protocol. Again the application of these technologies would likely only be as good as the clinician's experience with tinnitus, so should not be seen as an all in one solution.
Manufacturers such as Phonak, Siemens, GN Resound and Unitron all now have models available with tinnitus noise generator capability on top of their exceptional hearing aid capabilities. Most of these have these tinnitus management technologies available in low end models as well, so affordability is great, especially if you don't suffer much hearing loss. If you compare the well-known Neuromonics device costing around $5500, which provides no hearing improvement, to one of these hearing aids with tinnitus management, then things look rosy indeed. These Tinnitus Management hearing aids are not only tiny and practically invisible, but they start from as little as around $1950 each.
Exciting times indeed with tinnitus management now more accessible and affordable than before. Now is the time to have your tinnitus investigated by someone who can effectively use these technologies to help you gain control over your Tinnitus.
Contact us today for your Tinnitus Assessment.