Can Hearing Aids Stop My Tinnitus?

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Tinnitus is a phantom sound generated somewhere within the internal auditory system. In other words, it’s the perception of sound when no external source is present. Tinnitus is a common symptom of auditory damage and many people experience it, in fact 1 in 10 New Zealanders report hearing tinnitus. Although it’s common, there’s no easy solution and no cure. However, listening to hearing devices, such as hearing aids, can often provide relief from tinnitus.

Access to Sounds

First, let us be clear in saying that hearing aids do not cure tinnitus. What they can do is provide access to sounds that help mask the tinnitus, so you can focus on the important sounds around you and not the ringing. Tinnitus is usually a sign there’s been damage to your auditory system and frequently coincides with hearing loss (but not always). Having a hearing test is the first step to understanding what the underlying cause for your tinnitus might be (we’ll discuss this in an upcoming blog post). Knowing the cause is an important part of the treatment process and will help your audiologist make appropriate recommendations.

Creating Focus Points

A good analogy for how hearing aids can help is to consider a lone tree in the middle of an open field – your eyes immediately focus on it because there’s no other focal point. If we start adding trees, texturing the field, your vision is less focused on the single tree and more on the landscape. That is the goal with hearing aids or masking devices – they shift the focus and give your brain more information to complete the auditory picture.

Learn More About Tinnitus

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