Tinnitus is often described as a ringing in the ears. However, some people experience sounds like hissing, buzzing, clicking or other noise.
On its own, it can be a disorienting and even debilitating condition for the millions who experience it. When coupled with hearing loss it can make coping with tinnitus that much harder.
Hearing Loss Complicates Treatment
One of the most common ways to manage tinnitus is acoustic therapy. This involves using other sounds like white noise, air conditioners, fans or soft music to help mask the sound of your tinnitus.
When you have hearing loss, these strategies don’t work as well because it will be difficult to pick up the masking sounds.
Without the ability to manage your tinnitus symptoms you are at a higher risk of experiencing:
- Sleep disturbances
- Increased anxiety and depression
- Social isolation
- Trouble concentrating at work
Hearing Aids as a Tool for Managing Tinnitus
A survey of 230 hearing health professionals indicated hearing aids can help lessen the effects of tinnitus. Specifically, they reported that:
- 60% of patients experience some degree of relief while wearing hearing aids
- 22% receive major relief of symptoms with hearing aids
Hearing aids can help in several ways:
- Your audiologist can program them to minimize tinnitus and amplify the sounds you want to hear.
- Your device can help you distinguish one sound from another, improving communication and helping with any focus and concentration difficulties you may be experiencing.
- Because they improve your ability to perceive sound, hearing aids also make it possible to try acoustic therapy to manage your tinnitus symptoms.
Work to Reduce Stress
In addition to seeking professional treatment, stress reduction has proven to be a valuable tool in managing tinnitus. Some suggestions include:
- Develop a gentle yoga routine
- Practice daily breathing exercises or meditation
- Take a hot bath
- Drink herbal tea
- Schedule a day of relaxation and book an appointment somewhere like Spa Bleu
Try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you manage your tinnitus symptoms. It provides you with a wide range of coping skills that work to reduce the stress, anxiety and sleeplessness caused by your condition.
While tinnitus and hearing loss can be a difficult combination to deal with, treatment options exist to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. If you are currently struggling with one or both of these conditions, contact the experts at Augusta - Aiken ENT & Allergy today to find some relief.