Best Hearing Aids to Treat Tinnitus
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the term used to describe the condition of having ringing, buzzing, cricket, ocean or other kinds of noise in the ear or originating from the head, that only you can hear. Tinnitus is a Latin word that literally means ringing. It is an abnormal perception of sound, unrelated to an external source, and can range from a low roaring to a high pitched squealing or ringing.
Tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying condition, not a disease in and of itself, like headache, pain, temperature, hearing loss and vertigo. It will not cause deafness, although many people with tinnitus also have hearing loss or pressure symptoms to some degree.
Tinnitus is a fairly common disorder. It can be occasional, constant, or fluctuating, mild or severe. It can affect one or both ears, originating in the middle ear (behind the eardrum), or in the sensorineural auditory system, or within the head.
Common causes of tinnitus include:
- Hearing Loss
- Stress and depression
- Loud noise exposure
- Buildup of earwax or other form of blockage
- Abnormal bone growth in the ear
- Meniere’s disease (and inner ear condition involving abnormal fluid pressure of the inner ear fluid
- Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (where the jawbone meets the skull).
- High blood pressure
Effects and Impact of Tinnitus
Tinnitus affects everyone differently, but can have a major impact on one’s daily life. Some people can ignore their tinnitus most of the time. For others, the condition can be so disrupting and disturbing that it negatively affects their everyday lives in a host of ways.
The most common areas in which tinnitus has a direct influence are:
- Sleep – Many sufferers of tinnitus report that their symptoms interfere with their ability to get to sleep.
- Focus and concentration – Some people report that they have difficulty staying on task and concentrating because of their tinnitus, including reading and working.
- Hearing – For many, the unwanted sounds produced by tinnitus compete with or mask speech and environmental sound perception.
- Thoughts and feelings – Tinnitus sufferers frequently report feeling anxious, irritable and depressed because of their condition.
Can Tinnitus be cured?
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for tinnitus. Although there is no cure, there are many ways to take control of your tinnitus and reduce its impact on your life.
Education and counseling, in combination, can be effective tools to help you learn to manage the effects of tinnitus.
Your hearing professional can help you manage your symptoms and help you to find relief through sound therapy, in conjunction with hearing aid technology.
Hearing aids that provide tinnitus solutions
Many makers of newer-technology hearing aids are addressing the need for tinnitus relief. Some have designed built-in features into the hearing aids themselves, and others utilize apps that work seamlessly with smartphones to provide on-the-go control of the tinnitus support benefits of your hearing aids. All are designed to help reduce the effects of tinnitus by providing relief sounds, or “noisers”, which are soothing, often rhythmic sounds and tones. This type of sound therapy helps push the unwanted sounds to the background. These therapeutic solutions address white noise, pink noise, speech noise, and high tone noise, and most offer remote control management of the programs. Here is a run-down of tinnitus relief solutions as offered by the following makers:
- Siemens – BestSound® Technology, available with their Ace™, Pure®, Carat™, Aquaris™, Motion®, Siemens Life™, Insio™, Nitro®, and Orion™ products.
- Oticon – Built-In Tinnitus SoundSupport, available with their ProTi line: Alta2, Nera2, and Ria2 hearing aids.
- ReSound – Their Lirax2 hearing aid offers add-on smartphone app compatibility. This therapy ranges from a library of relief sounds to more advanced frequency shaping and sound variation settings.
- Widex – Widex’s approach is their unique Zen Therapy, which employs counseling, stress relief, and a program of random, soothing harmonics, available on their newer devices, and as a stand-alone therapy.
- Unitron – Unitron’s MoxiKiss aid provides integrated tinnitus suppressor, a sound generator called SoundCure Serenade.
- Starkey – MultiFlex Tinnitus Technology provides relief sounds and remote control, available with their “Z” series products.
- Phonak – The Phonak Tinnitus Balance Portfolio is a customized management plan based on sound therapy, which has 3 key elements: Tinnitus Balance hearing aids, relief sound generator, and an add-on app.
If you are experiencing a ringing of the ears, contact us at Arizona Balance & Hearing Aids about the best solution for your tinnitus – relief may be just around the corner!