Nearly 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus in the last year. You might be one of them if you’ve been frustrated with ringing, buzzing, or clicking noises. These noises are more than just a nuisance ― they can keep you from communicating with your loved ones. But hearing aids can help.
At Memorial Village ENT, Dr. Conrad McCutcheon and licensed audiologist Marty Lippeatt, MS, FAAA offer several different types of hearing aids. If you’re struggling with hearing loss or tinnitus, give us a call to explore your options. In this post, we explain how hearing aids help with that ringing sound.
What’s causing the ringing in your ears?
Ringing in your ears ― known as tinnitus ― is not a disease, but it does signal that something is wrong with your auditory system. Tinnitus can be caused by an obstacle in your ear canal, such as ear wax, or noise-induced hearing loss.
Ringing in your ears can be loud or soft, and it can occur in one or both ears. The American Tinnitus Association lists tinnitus as a common symptom of hearing loss.
Three ways hearing aids can help with tinnitus
Although it seems as though a hearing aid would just amplify these annoying sounds rather than help you to hold conversations, the reality is that hearing aids can provide relief for tinnitus. Here’s how.
1. Hearing aids mask the ringing
You probably already know that hearing aids augment (increase) the volume of external noises. This works to mask the ringing or buzzing associated with tinnitus. Hearing aids don’t increase the volume of the tinnitus. With the ringing noises masked, it’s easier for you to focus on external sounds like a person talking to you rather than on the ringing.
2. Hearing aids promote easier communication
Ringing in your ears can make it difficult, if not impossible, to hold a conversation, listen to the radio, or watch TV. Hearing aids boost the background or environmental sounds so they’re louder than the ringing, which can improve your ability to communicate without trying to talk or listen through the effects of tinnitus.
3. Hearing aids boost your confidence
When you can feel confident holding a conversation without the frustration of tinnitus, you’re more likely to enjoy socializing with others. Whether you want to invite a family member over for dinner or call a friend on the phone, hearing aids can give you the confidence to enjoy visiting with others.
What to do if you have ringing in your ears
Hearing aids aren’t necessarily the first step in treating tinnitus. For example, if ear wax is blocking your ear canal and contributing to the ringing, your solution might be as simple as having us remove the wax and clean out your ear.
However, if there isn’t anything blocking your ear canal, you may benefit from an evaluation with Dr. Conrad McCutcheon, our board-certified otolaryngologist, or with our licensed audiologist Marty Lippeatt, MS, FAAA, who can also test your hearing and evaluate your tinnitus.
Together, our experienced ENT and audiologist can help you hear better. To explore your options, call our Houston, Texas, office at 281-822-3777 or request an appointment online.