Relationship between Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Relationship between Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Have you ever experienced random ear noises such as ringing, buzzing, humming, hissing, roaring, or any other kind of random sound in your ears? The general term that we use to describe any type of random noise in the ears is call, Tinnitus. Tinnitus for most of the time is subjective, and it is different for everyone. For some people, tinnitus is a ringing sound, for others, tinnitus can be a humming sound. For some people, tinnitus is high-pitched, for others tinnitus is low-pitched. For some, the tinnitus is intermittent, and for others tinnitus is continuous. In Addition, the pitch and / or the volume of the tinnitus can either stay the same or it can fluctuate from person to person. 

Strong relationship between tinnitus and hearing loss

Although there are continuous studies and research about tinnitus going on, the etiology of tinnitus is still unknown at this time, therefore there are no cures for tinnitus currently. Although the etiology of tinnitus is unknown, however, there are multiple factors related to tinnitus. 

The number one factor that has a strong relationship to tinnitus is hearing loss. The modern world that we live in is noisy, and since we are born there are sounds around us all the time, even when we are sleeping. Hence, we can wake up from alarm clocks in the morning. With hearing loss there is less sound got send up to the brain, and your brain is sensitive enough to detect this difference. With a change in the amount of acoustic information that got sent up to the brain, the brain dislikes this difference or change. Therefore, one started to hear random ear noises in their ears. It is a way that the brain is attempting to compensate for the missing acoustic information. Therefore, if one started to experiencing tinnitus, seeing a hearing professional, and having comprehensive hearing testing done to rule out any potential hearing loss as soon as possible is recommended. 

What is hearing loss? -

Hearing aids treatment

Since there is a strong relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, hearing aids have been shown as a successful treatment option for tinnitus. With hearing loss, by wearing hearing aids we are giving sounds back to the brain, and therefore one can be distracted from tinnitus. With amplification, the majority of the patients will be more aware of environmental sounds and speech sounds; therefore, they do not perceive their tinnitus. However, if one still experiencing tinnitus with hearing aids, tinnitus maskers can be always added to the hearing aids via software programming.

One might ask if possible people who have normal hearing sensitivity also have tinnitus. The answer is, yes. For these patients hearing aids still can be a treatment option, and pending on the patient’s needs tinnitus makers can also be added to the hearing aids.

Although hearing loss has the strongest relationship with hearing loss, studies have also been shown other factors such as high level sodium intake, changes in medications, stress levels, and lifestyle could also cause tinnitus.

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