Top 5 Hearing Aids that help manage tinnitus and provide relief

According to NCBI tinnitus affect almost 7 percent of India’s population. Tinnitus is the buzzing, ringing or whooshing sound in the ear in the absence 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 Cente For Health Statics reported that 32 percent of USA 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 but unfortunately, some of them also have tinnitus difficulty.

There is no particular cure for tinnitus. But some of the hearing aids help manage tinnitus by reducing the symptoms in patients who also have tinnitus. 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 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 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.

Causes of Tinnitus

However, the tinnitus cause is 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 with tinnitus are depression, stress, worries, difficulty in concentration or sleep or personality disorders.

How do Hearing aids help manage tinnitus?

Hearing machines don’t provide a cure for tinnitus but they help in providing relief for tinnitus. Basically hearing aids 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. Here, hearing aids help manage tinnitus in receiving more and more stimulation from the background. Therefore, even in a library, a tinnitus patient can pick sound of the surrounding environment. There are many ways hearing devices help tinnitus patients.

Effects of Hearing aids on tinnitus

  • Auditory Stimulation – 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.
  • Masking effect – 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.
  • Better Communication – 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 application of sound with the help of hearing machines is to reinstitute the accessibility of speech.

Types of Hearing aids for tinnitus-

Phonak Hearing aidsPhonak hearing aid

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 app, 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 aidsResound LiNX Hearing aids

Resound LiNX hearing aids offers tinnitus sound generator in the machine. This sound generator forms white noise signal which is easily adjustable around any specific frequency according to the user.

Starkey Hearing aidsStarkey Xino Hearing aid

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 aidsSiemens 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. 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.

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