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Hearing Aids: Can They Really Help Tinnitus Sufferers?

Tinnitus, Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids

Tinnitus is a condition in which a person experiences a ringing, buzzing, or other noises in their ears without an external source. People with tinnitus may also experience hearing loss, as the constant noise can make it difficult to hear what others are saying. Hearing aids can be a helpful solution for those suffering from tinnitus, providing relief and improved sound clarity.

Hearing loss is defined as a decreased ability to hear sounds, which can be caused by a variety of different factors. Age-related hearing loss and noise-induced hearing loss are two common types of hearing loss, but there are many other causes as well. Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, as it can be a symptom of an underlying condition that affects the hearing system.

Hearing aids are devices that are designed to amplify sound and improve hearing. They can be used to treat both hearing loss and tinnitus, as they can help to reduce the symptoms of both conditions. However, it is important to have a full evaluation of your individual needs before deciding on the type of hearing aid that will be most beneficial to you.

Using a hearing aid can help to reduce the intrusive symptoms of tinnitus, such as the ringing or buzzing noises. The hearing aid can also reduce the difficulty in hearing speech, as it can amplify the sound of voices and other noises so that they are easier to understand. This can help to improve communication and reduce stress and anxiety related to the condition.

The combination of hearing aids and sound therapy can be a highly effective way to manage tinnitus and improve your quality of life. By addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of the condition, it is possible to achieve long-term relief and improved hearing.

Definition of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a medical condition in which a person perceives sound when there is none. This phantom sound can take many forms and is commonly experienced as a buzzing, ringing, whistling, or humming sound in one or both ears. It is estimated that around 15-20% of adults experience tinnitus to some degree.

Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors, such as age-related hearing loss, exposure to loud noise, certain medications, allergies, head injuries, ear infections, or a circulatory system disorder. In some cases, there is no known cause.

The effects of tinnitus can range from mild annoyance to severe distress. Common symptoms include difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, irritability, and depression. In extreme cases, tinnitus can interfere with daily activities and lead to a reduced quality of life.

Risk Factors for Tinnitus

  • Age – hearing loss increases as we get older, making us more susceptible to tinnitus.
  • Exposure to loud noises – a single exposure to loud noises can cause permanent hearing damage and tinnitus.
  • Smoking – smoking can increase the risk of hearing loss, thus increasing the risk of developing tinnitus.
  • Stress – high levels of stress have been linked to an increased risk of tinnitus.

Treatment Options for Tinnitus

Tinnitus, a condition characterized by ringing or buzzing noises in the ears, can be quite distressing. While there is no cure, there are treatments available to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Here, we discuss some of the options.


Counseling can help people with tinnitus cope with their reactions to the condition. A mental health professional can assist a person in developing useful strategies for living with the condition, such as finding ways to relax and reducing stress. Counseling can also provide emotional support and help patients better understand their condition.

Sound Therapy

Sound therapy is another treatment option for tinnitus. It involves exposing a person to calming, repetitive sounds, such as those generated by special devices called sound generators. The idea is that the pleasant sounds can mask and reduce the perception of tinnitus. This therapy can also retrain the auditory system and allow people to focus on more pleasant sounds, rather than the irritating noise of tinnitus.


Certain medications, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, can be used to treat tinnitus. While these drugs do not address the underlying cause of the condition, they can help alleviate some of the associated symptoms of stress and anxiety.


In rare cases, surgery may be recommended for the treatment of tinnitus. This procedure involves the destruction or disconnection of certain nerve pathways responsible for producing the buzzing or ringing noise in the ears. While it is generally considered safe, this type of surgery carries a certain level of risk and should only be performed as a last resort.


There are several treatment options available for tinnitus, including counseling, sound therapy, medication, and surgery. Each of these treatments can reduce the effects of tinnitus and help improve a person's quality of life. It is important to speak to a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action.

Hearing Aids and Tinnitus

Hearing aids are a useful tool for treating tinnitus, as they can help reduce the symptoms and lessen their impact on daily life. Hearing aids work by amplifying surrounding sounds, which may help make the tinnitus less noticeable. They may also help to improve communication and can be beneficial if you are suffering from hearing loss.

There are several different types of hearing aids available, which can be tailored to your individual needs. These include:

  • Invisible in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids, which are small and fit in the ear canal
  • Completely in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids, which are custom-made according to the size and shape of the user's ear
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, which sit behind the ear and connect to a small plastic tube that fits inside the ear
  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, which fill up the entire inner section of the ear
  • Receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids, which combine a behind-the-ear style with an internal receiver.

The effectiveness of hearing aids in treating tinnitus is well established. Studies have found that people who use hearing aids for tinnitus experience improved quality of life and reduced stress levels when compared to those who do not use them. Furthermore, many patients report a reduction in their tinnitus symptoms and improved communication ability when using hearing aids.

Hearing aids can also help people who experience both hearing loss and tinnitus. By amplifying sound, hearing aids can help to mask the tinnitus and help people better understand conversations. This can create a more positive environment, reducing stress and allowing the patient to focus on things other than their tinnitus.

Overall, hearing aids can help to alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus as well as improve the quality of life of those who use them. It is important to talk to your doctor or audiologist to find out which type of hearing aid would be best suited to your individual needs.

Pros and Cons of Using Hearing Aids to Treat Tinnitus

Tinnitus affects millions of people around the world and researching into potential treatments is important in order to find relief. One of the treatment options available is the use of hearing aids. But before any decision is made, it's essential to understand the pros and cons of using hearing aids to treat tinnitus.

The main benefit of hearing aids for treating tinnitus is the reduction in symptoms that can be achieved. Many wearers of hearing aids report a significant reduction in the ringing, buzzing or other noises associated with the condition. In addition, the use of hearing aids can reduce the impact of hearing loss on daily life, allowing wearers to continue to carry out activities such as going to work or socializing, without the interference of tinnitus.

However, there are some drawbacks associated with using hearing aids to treat tinnitus. First, the cost of hearing aids can be high, so affordability must be taken into account. Additionally, while hearing aids can help to improve hearing, they may not completely eliminate the symptoms of tinnitus. In this case, wearers may need to employ other strategies to find relief.

Misconceptions about hearing aids are also common. People often think that hearing aids are only suitable for those with significant hearing loss, rather than those with tinnitus. However, this is incorrect, as hearing aids can be used to help those with both mild and severe hearing loss, as well as tinnitus.

When considering the use of hearing aids to treat tinnitus, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons carefully. Speak to your doctor and audiologists to get their opinion and to discuss the best option for you. Finally, bear in mind that hearing aids are not a cure for tinnitus, but can help to reduce the symptoms and enhance your quality of life.

Common Questions About Hearing Aids and Tinnitus

When it comes to using hearing aids for tinnitus, there are some common questions that people may have. Here, we’ll answer some of these queries so that you can decide if hearing aids are the right choice for you.

How Long Will Hearing Aids Last?

The length of time a hearing aid will last depends on how well it is taken care of and how often it is used. Generally speaking, hearing aids should last around five to seven years. However, this can vary depending on the type of hearing aid, battery life, and environment.

What Type of Hearing Aids Is Best For Tinnitus?

The best type of hearing aid for tinnitus is usually one that has noise cancelling features. This helps to block out background noise and make it easier to listen to sounds in the foreground, such as speech. Additionally, certain types of hearing aids may help to reduce symptoms of tinnitus. Talk to your doctor or audiologist to find out more about which type would be best for your needs.

What Kind of Maintenance Is Required?

Hearing aids require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure they work correctly and comfortably. This involves regularly changing the batteries, cleaning the ear pieces, and replacing filters if necessary. It’s also important to get your hearing tested regularly to check the device is working correctly.

By taking good care of your hearing aid, you can be sure that it will last a long time and provide you with the best possible hearing experience.

Using hearing aids for tinnitus can be a great way to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for those suffering from the condition. Knowing the answers to common questions about hearing aids can help you make an informed decision about whether they are right for you.


Tinnitus is a condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Hearing aids are an effective and viable solution for those who are suffering from tinnitus, allowing them to hear better, reduce the severity of their symptoms, and improve their overall quality of life.

We have discussed the definition of tinnitus, explored various treatment options, looked at how hearing aids can be used to help treat this condition, weighed the pros and cons of their use, and answered some frequently asked questions.

It is clear that hearing aids can provide relief to those suffering from tinnitus, but it is important to be aware that the choice to use them is a personal one and should be discussed with a professional first.

By understanding the symptoms of tinnitus, being familiar with the available treatment options, and exploring the potential offered by hearing aids, you are now in a better position to make an informed decision about your own situation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tinnitus and Hearing Aids

  • Q: What is tinnitus?
    A: Tinnitus is a condition characterized by the perception of sound with no external source. People experiencing tinnitus may hear buzzing, ringing, hissing, humming, and other sounds.
  • Q: What are the risk factors for tinnitus?
    A: The most common risk factors for tinnitus are loud noises, age-related hearing loss, ear or head injuries, or genetics.
  • Q: What kind of treatments are available for tinnitus?
    A: Treatments for tinnitus can include counseling, sound therapy, stress management techniques, relaxation techniques, and medications to reduce symptoms.
  • Q: How can hearing aids help with tinnitus?
    A: Hearing aids can provide relief from tinnitus by masking the internal sounds that people suffering from tinnitus hear, providing an external source of noise to distract them from their own internal sounds.
  • Q: What types of hearing aids are available?
    A: There are many types of hearing aids available, including behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), completely-in-canal (CIC), and open-fit styles.
  • Q: Are there any downsides to using hearing aids for tinnitus?
    A: While there are many potential benefits to using hearing aids for tinnitus, there is some evidence to suggest that it can lead to over-reliance on the hearing aids, which can interfere with the long-term ability to manage tinnitus without any external noise present.
  • Q: What should I consider when choosing a hearing aid?
    A: When choosing a hearing aid it’s important to consider your individual needs, lifestyle factors, budget and level of hearing loss. It's also helpful to seek advice from a qualified audiologist and to get feedback from current hearing aid users.