Top Hearing Aids for Tinnitus Which Help Reduce Ringing in Ears
- Last Updated: Feb 2nd, 2019
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Hearing Aids
According to NCBI, tinnitus affects almost 7 percent of India’s population. Tinnitus is the buzzing, ringing or whooshing sound in the ear in the absence of external sound. It is also present in an individual without any kind of deformity in the auditory nerve, middle, external or inner ear.
The National Center For Health Statistics reported that 32 percent of the U.S. population have tinnitus and within these 6 percent are suffering from severe tinnitus. Even most of the females, because of tinnitus have more difficulty in sleeping compared to men.
The major problem with tinnitus is that people suffering from tinnitus do not seek help at the right time. Most of the hearing impaired individual also didn’t go through any kind of treatment while suffering from the ringing in the ear.
There is no particular cure for tinnitus. But their are some hearing aids for tinnitus which help reducing the symptoms in patients. According to a survey, six out of ten individuals (60 percent) found relief with hearing aids for tinnitus. One in five individuals (22 percent) experience major relief. But less than two percent of the individual found their tinnitus to get worse. However, 39 percent didn’t get any type of relief from hearing aids for tinnitus. It is very important to know tinnitus first, before learning about its treatment.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is classified into two type, Objective and Subjective.
In the Objective tinnitus, people hear noises or sounds which can be heard by both the patient and other people. One can hear these noises with or without the use of noise-amplifying instrumentation or stethoscope.
This tinnitus can happen because of vascular phenomena or muscle changes such as spasm or involuntary muscle contraction in the palate or the middle ear. Objective tinnitus is also called as “pseudo-tinnitus”,”extrinsic” or “vibratory”.
In the subjective tinnitus, the neural signals coinciding with tinnitus that are present in the auditory cortex can be created by a lesion in the cortex itself. It can also be produced at some later stage in the auditory pathway. Therefore, subjective tinnitus occurs in the cochlea or in the successive stages of the auditory system.
The patients suffering from tinnitus go through constant irritation. Because tinnitus signal activates the auditory nervous system and the limbic system. The accurate cause is not known yet.
Here are some key points about tinnitus.
- Around 50 million Americans experience tinnitus.
- Most tinnitus is happening due to damage in the inner ear or to the cochlea.
- Certain medications can cause or worsen tinnitus. E.g., aspirin particularly in large doses.
- People with tinnitus may be oversensitive to loud noise.
- Most people learn to live with tinnitus, but treatment is available for only those who find this difficult.
Causes of Tinnitus
However, the tinnitus causes are not only restricted to the auditory nerve or the inner ear. But middle ear disorders such as otosclerosis and otitis media or wax accumulation in the external auditory canal causes tinnitus. The most common cause of tinnitus is hearing impairment such as noise-induced or age-related hearing impairment.
Tinnitus is also found in people with emotional and physical disorders. The physiological or emotional distress linked to tinnitus are depression, stress, worries, difficulty in concentration or sleep, and personality disorders.
Other possible causes are:
- Head and neck injuries
- Ear infections
- Stiffening of the middle ear bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
- Earwax touching the eardrum
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Eustachian tube problems
How do Hearing aids help manage tinnitus?
Hearing machines don’t provide a cure for tinnitus but they help in providing relief. Basically hearing aids for tinnitus help manage tinnitus patients who need amplifying background noises to reduce the constant ringing sound in the ear.
Most of the hearing devices offer noise generator which helps you in distracting your mind from the clicking or roaring sound in the ear. Thanks to the hearing aid technology such as digital hearing devices which when connected to smartphone apps offer you with a customized library of music and in-ear sounds and also a product which that transfers the received sound directly to the ear of the person.
There is no doubt a relationship between hearing impairment and tinnitus. When a person has some degree of hearing loss than as a result the brain and the hearing nerve stop receiving the same stimulation in the specific frequency range as it used to receive with normal hearing.
These ear machines help in receiving more and more stimulation from the background. Therefore, even in a library, a tinnitus patient can pick the sound of the surrounding environment. There are many ways hearing devices help tinnitus patients.
How hearing aids help in reducing ringing in the ears?
A hearing aid helps in reducing ringing in the ear by increasing the volume of external sound to a particular point which masks or covers the tinnitus sound. The brain starts focusing more on the outside noise in place of inside ear noises like ringing in the ear. It also increases the number of auditory stimulations received by the brain. Tinnitus affects the ability to concentrate, hear and sleep.
Continuous ringing in the ear makes very difficult for the patient to have a normal conversation or a talk on the phone with anyone which sometimes becomes very frustrating. Therefore hearing aid decreases this level of frustration and stress in tinnitus patients. People experience a better quality of life with hearing aid. Audiologist especially uses best practices in the fitting of hearing aid.
How Is Tinnitus Treated?
Following are the ways to treat the symptoms of the problem :
- Cochlear implants
- Wearable or tabletop sound generators
- Hearing aids
Decreasing emotional stress via stress management techniques
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle changes
- Acoustic neural stimulation
- Bite implants for patients with TMJ
Effects of Hearing aids on tinnitus
Hearing devices restore the auditory function by increasing the volume of external sound. And also increasing the amplification of auditory stimulation which your brain receives. Therefore, cause reconstitution of the central nervous system of a person.
The capacity to hear external sounds offers a “masking effect” for tinnitus patients. Therefore, hearing devices increase the external sound volume to the extent it masks or hides the tinnitus sound. An audiologist strongly recommends hearing machines for hearing impaired people who have same degree tinnitus as hearing loss. Therefore, a hearing aid user hearing those sound what he wants to hear.
Most of the tinnitus patients face different kinds of speech comprehension difficulties in the noisy or quiet environment. These speech difficulties result in gradual changes in a person’s communication which impact the quality of his life. The primary goal of the application of sound with the help of hearing machines is to reinstitute the accessibility of speech.
Top 5 Hearing Aids for Tinnitus
Phonak Hearing aids
Phonak offers a wide range of Tinnitus balance hearing devices. These hearing machines include all the required features such as sound amplification, sound enrichment and also counseling for stress management and tinnitus relief. Some of the Phonak hearing aids are-
- Audio Q
- Audio V
- Bolero V
- Audio B
- Bolero B hearing aids
Phonak also offers Tinnitus Balance applications, an ideal tool for sound therapy support. This app helps you in selecting and combining a different list of sounds with your personal smartphone music library. There will be a timer option which helps you sleep while listening to sounds. All the received sounds are transferred directly to your hearing device. One can download the app from App store for iPhone or Google Play store for Android.
Resound Hearing aids
Resound LiNX hearing aids offers tinnitus sound generator in the machine. This sound generator forms a white noise signal which is easily adjustable around any specific frequency according to the user. This device helps to blend your tinnitus into the background.
Starkey Hearing aids
Starkey hearing devices offer Xino Tinnitus devices which is a sound therapy hearing aid. This hearing machine provides the masking effect or it covers the tinnitus. An audiologist also provides a customizable noise sound stimulator with the hearing machine.
Siemens Hearing aids
Siemens Therapy Signals combines the tinnitus therapy with the hearing device. These therapies amplify the external sound by masking tinnitus effect. Four types of tinnitus therapy are available such as speech noise, white noise, high-tone noise, and pink noise. According to the user, an audiologist also fine-tunes the signals.
Widex hearing aids
Widex offers four components for tinnitus patients which includes counseling, amplification, relaxation and Fractal Tones in Widex Zen Therapy. Zen tones are fractal tones which hearing devices generate. Zen tone not only provides tinnitus relief but also reduces the stress. A feature of white noise stimulation is also present that can be added to the signal to achieve more “masking” of the tinnitus. In all the Widex hearing machines Zen tones are present as an individual program.
Before purchasing a suitable hearing aid for your tinnitus you need to consult a certified health professional or an audiologist. Hearing machines are very expensive, therefore, you should consider many factors such as lifestyle, price, sound sensitivity or hearing loss, and age.