Recent studies have revealed than more than 40 million Americans have experienced some form of tinnitus (see download below for more information). Though the discomfort rate may vary from barely noticeable, to extremely bothersome, the fact that more than a quarter of the population may in fact suffer from a condition that few discuss, is quite alarming for us in the hearing health profession. Have you ever wondered if tinnitus and hearing aids had any relationship? Tinnitus – The Phantom Pain
Tinnitus, in most cases, is tied to hearing loss. When an individual suffers a hearing loss within a particular range, the brain interjects its own sound into the mix. This condition can be likened to an amputee who has lost a limb. They often suffer what is known as “ghost pains” whereby the brain and nervous system actually believe the missing limb is still attached, and the sensation of pain can still be interpreted in the brain.
Similarly, when an individual has significant hearing loss within a given range, the brain believes the cochlea (the organ of hearing) is receiving signals from the middle and outer ear, when in fact, the damage to the cochlea has left it on the “on position.”
Tinnitus is a very subjective condition. The sounds heard by the tinnitus sufferer have been described as everything from a “rush” to “crickets” to “a load roar,” and everything in between. Amplifiaction, or hearing aids, have been proven to help mild cases of tinnitus associated with hearing loss. Furthermore, hearing aids are one of the few remedies that have been empirically proven through significant scientific study. Several manufacturers have even developed apps and programs to help mitigate, or lessen, the effects of tinnitus in day to day life.
If you, or a loved one, is experiencing tinnitus, please contact one of our offices at 888-461-0922 to schedule a tinnitus evaluation and discuss one of the many options available.