In our last blog post, we discussed three things you might not know about tinnitus. Among them is the fact that there are two different kinds of tinnitus, the most common being subjective tinnitus. In this post, we want to discuss how hearing aids can help people suffering from this form of the condition. Keep in mind that subjective tinnitus is almost always linked to hearing loss.
When a person begins to lose some of his or her hearing, whether that is due to age, illness or some sort of injury, the result is less auditory stimulation from external noises. Think of it in terms of standing under a tree during a rainstorm. The train does not prevent all the precipitation from getting through, but it does prevent some of it. Hearing loss results in fewer external sounds making it to the auditory portion of the central nervous system.
Tinnitus is caused by the brain trying to make up for the loss of those external sounds. The brain processes the limited frequencies it is exposed to in different ways, resulting in tinnitus. People with tinnitus related to hearing loss are often suffering from a loss of higher frequency recognition. Thus, tinnitusis often described as a high-pitched ringing in the ears.
With all of that said, let’s talk about how a hearing aid can help. Hearing aids can amplify certain frequencies depending on the needs of the patient. Digital hearing aids are especially adept at this. By amplifying the frequencies that are not heard as well, a hearing aid can make up for the loss of natural sound. This can prevent some of the frequency modification happening in the brain. A hearing aid can also provide enough amplification to mask the tinnitus.