How Hearing Aids Mask Tinnitus and Improve Hearing

A white-coated person holds a card that says, “Tinnitus.”

Discover the dual benefits of modern hearing aids: they enhance hearing and act as a hearing aid for tinnitus masking. Learn how tinnitus masking hearing aids, especially Phonak hearing aids for tinnitus, provide comprehensive solutions for better auditory health.

Why Do You Need a Hearing Aid for Tinnitus Masking?

Tinnitus produces a variety of internal sounds, like ringing or buzzing, that only the individual can hear. Whether constant or intermittent, severe cases can hinder concentration and mask external sounds, affecting quality of life.

Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus isn’t a standalone disease; it’s often a symptom. Contributing factors vary from age-related hearing loss and ear injuries to medication side effects. Chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure can also trigger tinnitus.

People with tinnitus describe hearing a range of noises, including:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Hissing
  • Clicking
  • Roaring

While tinnitus can be bilateral, affecting both ears or unilateral, impacting one ear, the experience varies from person to person. Tinnitus can be a fleeting issue, vanishing after short-term exposure to loud noises. However, it can also be a persistent, long-term problem. It is often more noticeable in quiet settings like bedtime.

The Hearing Aid Connection

Recent research reveals that many people find relief from tinnitus or notice its reduced impact while using hearing aids. This makes hearing aids a dual-purpose solution: they enhance auditory function and serve as a hearing aid for tinnitus masking.

Effectiveness depends on specific hearing profiles; hearing aids prove more beneficial if you perceive low-frequency sounds well. These devices augment external noises, acting as sound therapy. This increased auditory stimulation diverts your attention away from tinnitus.

A man winces and holds his ear.

 

The Science of Tinnitus Masking Hearing Aids

For over 70 years, hearing aids have played a role in treating certain types of tinnitus. Hearing loss limits external stimuli to the brain, which then undergoes neuroplastic changes. This results in tinnitus. Traditional hearing aids amplify external sounds, which can help distract from tinnitus symptoms.

Advances in technology have birthed the hearing aid for tinnitus masking that blends sound amplification with sound therapy, emitting random soothing sounds to divert attention from tinnitus and induce relaxation.

The Mechanics Behind a Hearing Aid for Tinnitus Masking

  • Masking and Attentional Effects: These devices can boost external noise to a level that masks the sound of tinnitus. The masking feature primarily benefits those whose hearing loss and tinnitus frequencies align.
  • Auditory Stimulation: Increasing external sound volume enhances auditory stimulation to the brain. The auditory pathways benefit from soft background sounds that may usually go unnoticed.
  • Improved Communication: By amplifying surrounding sounds, hearing aids reduce social isolation and personal frustration, making communication easier.
  • Tinnitus Relief Apps: Some advanced hearing aids offer tinnitus relief apps that come with a range of features like relaxing tones, distracting sounds, and customization options to target specific tinnitus frequencies.

What Is Auditory Masking?

The concept behind tinnitus masking is rooted in auditory masking, where one sound reduces the audibility of another. Various types of masking sounds, such as white noise, pink noise, or nature sounds, can be effective in masking tinnitus. These sounds compete with tinnitus for the auditory system’s attention, reducing its perception. The types of masking sounds include:

  • White Noise: Contains all frequencies at equal intensity.
  • Pink Noise: Has more energy in lower frequencies.
  • Nature Sounds: Mimics natural world sounds like ocean waves or birdsong.

Effectiveness varies among individuals, making experimenting with different masking sounds crucial. While these options can significantly reduce the perception of tinnitus, they don’t cure it. They serve as a management tool but don’t address tinnitus’s root cause.

Features to Look for in Tinnitus Masking Hearing Aids

Before zeroing in on a hearing aid for tinnitus masking, assess your specific hearing condition and how tinnitus affects you. Important questions to ask yourself include:

  • What frequencies can you hear clearly?
  • Which frequencies are challenging for you?
  • Is your tinnitus in one ear or both?
  • How much does tinnitus impact your concentration or hearing?

Key Features to Consider

  1. Sound Processing

Prescription hearing aids often offer superior sound processing through advanced channels and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This helps fine-tune the device according to your hearing profile and can significantly impact tinnitus management.

  1. Automatic Adjustments

The ability of the hearing aid to adapt to different sound environments is crucial for consistent tinnitus management.

  1. Customization

Prescription devices can be programmed precisely to your hearing loss profile, offering more effective relief from tinnitus.

  1. Personal Support

Consult with a hearing professional for proper programming and adjustments.

Explore more about Phonak Audeo Lumity hearing aids

Features to Consider in Addition to Tinnitus Masking

  • Type of Masking Sound: Choices include white noise, pink noise, and nature sounds.
  • Adjustable Sound Levels: Look for aids to control the masking sound level.
  • Timer Function: Useful if you want to set a specific masking duration.
  • Rechargeable Batteries: These are both eco-friendly and cost-effective.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Allows you to stream audio from other devices.

Quick Tips for a Smart Hearing Aid Purchase

  • Get a Risk-Free Hearing Aid Trial: Use free trials to evaluate comfort and effectiveness.
  • Compare Hearing Aid Prices: Hearing aids can be costly, but online retailers like Injoy can offer them at a reduced price.
  • Find a Great Hearing Aid Warranty: Always inquire about the warranty before purchasing.

By carefully considering these factors and consulting with a hearing specialist, you can find the tinnitus masking hearing aids best suited for your needs.

A black Phonak Audeo Lumity hearing aid stands on a white background.

 

Why Do Our Audiologists Recommend Phonak Hearing Aids for Tinnitus Masking?

Phonak has established itself as a leader in hearing aids for tinnitus management. Far from offering a one-size-fits-all solution, the brand has developed an extensive product line with integrated features tailored to assist with tinnitus relief.

Core Features for Tinnitus Relief

  • Tinnitus Balance Noise Generator: This built-in feature generates customizable masking sounds designed to neutralize the perception of tinnitus. You can use it in tandem with the hearing aid’s other functionalities or as a standalone feature.
  • SoundRelax Library: Phonak’s SoundRelax offers an array of calming sounds to reduce stress levels. Wearers often experience decreased awareness of their tinnitus by focusing on these soothing sounds.
  • myPhonak Remote App: This smartphone app lets you control various hearing aid functions, including the volume levels of the Tinnitus Balance Noise Generator and the selection of sounds from the SoundRelax library.
  • Crystal-Clear Audio: Phonak hearing aids have clear, natural sound quality. This enhances your listening experience while also minimizing the prominence of tinnitus symptoms.
  • Noise Cancellation Capabilities: Advanced noise reduction technology filters out ambient noise, making speech easier to understand in loud settings. This also contributes to a reduced perception of tinnitus.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: With Bluetooth, you can stream audio from your devices straight to your hearing aids. This is particularly useful for enjoying music or podcasts while masking tinnitus with the balance noise generator.
  • The Tinnitus Balance App: The free Tinnitus Balance app offers another layer of personalization. It allows users to save their favorite music in a dedicated library. These tracks can then be streamed directly to the hearing aids, providing a meditative and distracting atmosphere, particularly during quieter times when tinnitus symptoms may become more intrusive.

Phonak hearing aids for tinnitus provide a comprehensive range of solutions. With their focus on sound clarity, noise reduction, and personalized features, Phonak stands out as an excellent choice for tinnitus masking hearing aids.

Happy older couples smile at the camera.

 

Take Control of Your Hearing Health: Find a Hearing Aid for Tinnitus Masking

Navigating life with tinnitus can be challenging, but modern hearing aids offer a dual-purpose solution to improve your auditory experience. Brands like Phonak provide cutting-edge features engineered explicitly for tinnitus relief. From customizable noise generators to Bluetooth connectivity, these devices enhance both your hearing capabilities and your quality of life.

Don’t settle for guesswork if you’re contemplating a solution for tinnitus. Take the first definitive step by trying Injoy Hearing’s online hearing test today. Get personalized insights into your hearing health and discover how a hearing aid can offer you more than just amplified sound. Contact Injoy Hearing today if you need hearing aids for tinnitus masking or general hearing loss treatment.

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