Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears that can be distracting, uncomfortable, and bothersome to some. To minimize the effects of tinnitus, many sufferers turn to hearing aids. Hearing aids amplify natural sounds from your environment, which helps to drown out internal ringing or buzzing.
But with so many hearing aids on the market today, how do you know which device is best for tinnitus relief?
Read on to learn more about the criteria we suggest and the top features to look for.
Tinnitus Is Relatively Common But Varies In Severity
Tinnitus is the perception of ringing or other noise in the ears when no external sound is present. It's a common symptom that affects approximately 10% of people worldwide, and its impact on quality of life can range from mild to severe. There can be underlying causes of tinnitus. However, on its own, tinnitus is not nefarious if not accompanied by dizziness or changes in hearing.
Even without medical concerns, tinnitus can still be bothersome, and some find the sound of their tinnitus distracting or interfering with their daily routine.
Causes And Treatments
Several potential causes of tinnitus include age-related hearing loss, loud noises, ear infections, and even certain medications. Unfortunately, there's currently no cure for tinnitus, but treatments available can help manage symptoms and make it easier to cope with day-to-day life. Symptom management can include strategies such as meditation, lifestyle modification, and masking noise. Read more about several methods you can try right now to provide relief from your tinnitus here.
Many people with tinnitus also have some degree of hearing loss, and hearing aids are another popular option that can help.
How Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus
Hearing aids are one option that can provide relief from tinnitus symptoms. The idea behind using a hearing aid for tinnitus is simple. Sound stimulation helps mask tinnitus's noise and makes it easier for the sound to blend in and cause less distraction. You might experience this relief when you turn on music or white noise in your home.
Properly programmed hearing aids amplify sounds around you and drown out tinnitus. Some devices go further with built-in tinnitus management masking.
The best hearing aids for tinnitus include special programs that pipe targeted noise into your ears. An audiologist can fine-tune the noise frequency to perfectly match and "camouflage" the sound of your ringing or buzzing. Masking programs offer the same benefits as white noise machines but on a more targeted level.
Best Tinnitus Masking Hearing Aids
Criteria For a Good Tinnitus Masking Hearing Aid
When shopping for a hearing aid for tinnitus, there are specific criteria you should look out for:
- Appropriate hearing aid style - Style selection is the first step to choosing a great hearing aid for tinnitus management. People with mild-moderate hearing loss may benefit from an open dome fit, while those with more severe hearing loss need a custom earmold. Even without masking, hearing aids can help lessen tinnitus by properly compensating for your hearing loss. Learn more about hearing aid styles here.
- Masking capability and Bluetooth - Leading hearing aids for tinnitus management include built-in sound masking controlled using a Smartphone app. If you like to keep it more low-tech, most premium hearing aids allow a manual program that you can activate with the push of a button. The important thing is to find a hearing aid with built-in masking.
- Comfortable fit – make sure the device fits comfortably in your ear so it doesn't cause discomfort while wearing. Comfort will help ensure maximum benefit from your device as well as make it easier to wear long-term without feeling like it has become uncomfortable after extended periods of use.
- Battery options – regular and consistent wear time is essential to mitigate tinnitus. Rechargeable batteries are the most popular due to their convenience and constant power supply for all-day wear. If you choose disposable batteries, you'll want to plan when to change them and have extra batteries in case the battery goes out. Read more about rechargeable versus disposable batteries here.
#1. Phonak Lyric
The Phonak Lyric is a unique product that sits deep inside the ear and stays in place 24 hours a day. One significant advantage of this design is that it provides constant amplification day and night, which can help to reduce tinnitus perception. On the flip side, these hearing aids do not offer built-in tinnitus masking programs.
#2. ReSound OMNIA
The GN Resound OMNIA is a great hearing aid that offers excellent sound quality and several options for tinnitus programs that your clinician can customize for you. When you'd like to access the tinnitus program, you can either go into the GN Resound Smart 3D app or manually activate the program button with a tap.
#3. Oticon More
The Oticon More is another option for those considering a hearing aid with options for tinnitus masking. Oticon More is known for a more 360 sound made possible through its deep neural network. The result is a less closed-off sound quality that appeals to some people with tinnitus.
#4. Signia Pure AX
The Signia Pure AX hearing aid offers several options for tinnitus support in their latest hearing aid. The Signia Pure AX is known for its effective split processing sound quality in background noise and options for tinnitus masking programs, such as nature sounds and targeted notch therapy masking noise.
Selecting the Right Option
If you're suffering from bothersome tinnitus, it's a good idea to see a professional who can support you in improving your hearing and quality of life. An audiologist is a great partner as you try various masking strategies and find your specific tinnitus frequency. ASHA ProFind is an excellent place to look for a professional in your area.
Most people with tinnitus and hearing loss find some benefit from hearing aids.
Amplified natural sounds help create a full sound landscape and mask ringing and buzzing.
Special built-in masking programs allow even more targeted treatment and support in quiet environments.
We hope this guide is helpful. If you need more support or suggestions, contact our team at email@example.com.