Can hearing aids help my tinnitus, how?
The short answer is yes. Hearing aids can help you manage your tinnitus. Some of the benefits of wearing hearing aids are discussed and explained on this page.
HearingNow is part of the tinnitus support group in South London, an initiative by the British Association of Tinnitus (BTA) to bring in resources and support for tinnitus patients in local communities.
Can Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus?
Answers To Your Questions About Tinnitus
What is tinnitus?
Please learn more about tinnitus on our Tinnitus Consultation page.
How can hearing aids help manage tinnitus?
About 70 to 80 per cent of tinnitus cases are associated with hearing loss. That's why if you experience any kind of tinnitus the first step is to do a comprehensive hearing test and checkup. If your tinnitus is associated with hearing loss often the frequency of the sound you hear in your head (tinnitus) is about the same range of frequency that you are not able to hear naturally (your range of hearing loss). For that reason, when hearing aids amplify the range of your hearing loss, they simply improve the relative loudness of the sound that you can hear comparing to the loudness of your tinnitus. This makes you hear and notice the tinnitus less.
How hearing aids can help tinnitus sound therapy?
Tinnitus saound therapy is simply a masking technique. The technique tend to destract your brain from hearing or noticing tinnitus by introducing another sound. Hearing aids can help with tinnitus sound therapy through one or all of the following techniques:
Nature sound - A hearing aid with tinnitus Nature Sound Therapy is able to play a pleasant sound of nature for you in the background. The sound of the nature can usually be selected by the patient through the hearing aids app on his/her smartphone. The nature sound could be the sound of sea waves, beach, rainforest, birds, cricket, fire, wind and so on.
Noise sound - A hearing aid with tinnitus Noise Therapy is able to play a background noise in users' ears. the loudness and the tone of the noise could be adjusted by the user through the hearing aids app on patient's smartphone. The choice of the noise are usually pink noise, white noise or brown noise.
What are the best hearing aids for tinnitus sound therapy?
When considering a pair of hearing aids for tinnitus sound therapy you need to make sure that the hearing aids have at least one or a mix of the following features:
That the hearing aids have tinnitus noise and nature sound therapy so your audiologist can set up tinnitus background noise on them. For optimum tinnitus noise therapy, the envelope of the produced noise should be adjustable (by the audiologist).
That the hearing aids are Bluetooth enabled so you can take advantage of a wider range of Apple or Android apps for tinnitus sound and noise therapy.
That the hearing aid has tinnitus Notch Therapy.
A featureful tinnitus hearing aid would have all the above options. At the moment only Signia and Rexton hearing aids have all the 3 tinnitus management options. Please contact us for a free tinnitus consultation if not sure about tinnitus noise therapy.
What is tinnitus notch therapy?
If your tinnitus sounds like a high pitch sound, it is likely that you have tonal tinnitus. Other types of tinnitus may sound like old radio noise, sea waves, buzzing and so on. According to the research done by Signia (more...), the loudness of tonal tinnitus can be reduced through notch therapy. A proprietary technique uses the sound of the tinnitus in your brain its frequency and its intensity in the algorithm of the hearing aid amplification. Noth therapy is not a masking technique, but rather a technique that the hearing aid that uses the sound of the tinnitus in its sound processing.
How long does it take for tinnitus-notch therapy to work?
A double-blind study showed that, when compared to control subjects who used hearing aid amplification alone, those who used hearing aids with the Notch Therapy activated showed a clear improvement in as few as 3 weeks and maintained the benefit past 6 months. According to Signia in 65% of cases, those with tonal tinnitus reported a marked improvement after beginning Notch therapy.
How long should I do tinnitus-notch therapy before I see some results?
A double-blind study showed that, when compared to control subjects who used hearing aid amplification alone, those who used hearing aids with the Notch Therapy activated showed a clear improvement in as few as 3 weeks and maintained the benefit past 6 months.
How long should I do tinnitus noise therapy?
Listen to your tinnitus sound therapy for an average of 1 hour daily. You might notice an improvement in your tinnitus after several days of treatment and the volume will be further reduced over time. You can use the tinnitus noise or Nature sound set up on your hearing aids as a source of south therapy.
What are the benefits of notch therapy?
Unobtrusive - Notch Therapy works by reducing the annoyance caused by tinnitus. No distracting sounds or static are required.
Portable - When used in tandem with hearing aids, wearers can continue their day without being hindered by their treatment.
Faster results - Many of those who use Notch Therapy regularly report results in weeks or months.
Better hearing - When the persistent tone of tinnitus is absent, many people find themselves picking up on sounds they previously missed. This might include the quality of people's voices, certain layers in musical tracks, and even the sounds of nature.
Possibility for permanence - Because Notch Therapy relegates the sound of tinnitus to the background, long-term use might train the brain to block out the sounds normally. This could lead to their tinnitus being "cured", in a sense.
Better quality of life -. When people are able to sleep, socialize, focus, and relax without the background noise of tinnitus, they're less likely to suffer from mental illness and exhaustion. They might find themselves enjoying life much more than they did pre-therapy.
Do NHS hearing aids help tinnitus?
The hearing aids provided by NHS provide basic amplification for the user. Some of the NHS trusts in the UK have started offering more advanced hearing aids with some tinnitus noise management functionality. At the time of publishing this page, none of the NHS hearing aid models in the UK provides tinnitus notch therapy.
Research on Notch Therapy:
Disclaimer: Please notice that the content of this page is based on the writer's own experience with tinnitus and also based on helping patients with tinnitus manage theirs. Patients with tinnitus are encouraged to book a free tinnitus consultation or contact a local tinnitus specialist for advice. Also please read more on tinnitus here and on the blog section of HearingNow.co.uk.
References: Tinnitus; NICE CKS, April 2010, Berry JA, Gold SL, Frederick EA, et al; Patient-based outcomes in patients with primary tinnitus undergoing tinnitus retraining therapy. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2002 Oct;128(10):1153-7., Lockwood AH, Salvi RJ, Burkard RF; Tinnitus. N Engl J Med 2002 Sep 19;347(12):904-10., Phillips JS, McFerran D; Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) for tinnitus. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Mar 17;3:CD007330., www.patient.inofo, Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions.
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