Hearing loss is a common factor underlying tinnitus, although some people with normal hearing may also experience a ringing sound in their ear. Loss of hearing is often unnoticeable and is a gradual process and many people are surprised when they are told that they have a hearing loss. It is quite common for people to assume incorrectly that it is their tinnitus rather than their hearing loss that is causing hearing difficulties.
Tinnitus and Hearing loss
Most patients develop tinnitus, caused either by age, long-term hearing damage, or acute trauma to the auditory system. Patients with hearing loss, ringing sound in the ear may find relief by using hearing aids and other sound amplification devices.
Hearing aid is a small electronic devices worn in or behind the ear which has a microphone, amplifier, and speaker which supplements the volume of outside noise and increases the number of sound stimuli received and processed by the body’s auditory system. Often prescribed by audiologists for patients who have a hearing loss associated with ringing in ears.
Hearing aids are effective for several reasons:
Masking and Attentional Effects
Hearing aids can augment the volume of external noise to the point that it covers (masks) the sound of tinnitus. This makes it more difficult to consciously perceive ringing sound and helps the brain focus on the outside, ambient noises. The masking impact of hearing aids is particularly strong for patients who have hearing loss in the same frequency range as their tinnitus.
Increasing the volume of external noise also increases the amount of auditory stimulation received by the brain. There may be benefits to stimulating the brain’s auditory pathways with soft background sounds that might not otherwise be heard.
Loud tinnitus can make it difficult & impossible for patients to participate in regular communicative and social activities. Follow a conversation, talk on the phone, watch television, listen to the radio, etc. Portable hearing Aid help by increasing the outer volume of these exercises over the apparent volume of tinnitus. As a result, patients may feel less personal frustration and social isolation.
Citation “British Tinnitus Association”