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Hearing Aids For Tinnitus

  • Hearing loss is a common contributor to tinnitus1–7
  • Experts recommend trying hearing aids if you have tinnitus and a hearing loss1–3,8,9
  • How hearing aids relieve tinnitus is not fully understood, but there is strong scientific evidence that they provide relief1,2,4,9–13
  • Some hearing aids have inbuilt ‘tinnitus sound generators’ (TSGs) that produce background or white noise to soothe tinnitus by giving your mind something else to focus on1
  • To get help, contact your GP or a hearing professional (audiologist or hearing aid dispenser)
  • All ReSound hearing aids have inbuilt TSGs, to help support people with tinnitus



Hearing loss and tinnitus

Since tinnitus and hearing loss are sometimes linked, wearing a modern hearing aid for tinnitus can be an effective tinnitus treatment. Around 80% of people suffering from tinnitus also have hearing loss.14 If you have tinnitus and a hearing loss, however mild, hearing aids may provide relief.1,2,4,10,15 Although hearing aids should not be considered a cure,2,8,11 experts and the British Tinnitus Association recommend trying them.1–3,8,9 

"Hearing aids are recommended for the management of hearing loss and should be considered as an option for patients with tinnitus and hearing loss”
European guideline for tinnitus (2019)3

To understand why hearing aids help to reduce tinnitus we need to know that hearing loss is not only common in people with tinnitus, but it can also cause tinnitus.1–5 Hearing loss changes the signals sent from the ear to the brain.15 These changes can confuse the brain, making you think that you’re hearing a sound when there isn’t one there – tinnitus.5,11,15 

Hearing aids are an effective treatment for tinnitus as they help to restore normal communication between the ear and the brain.12,15 Although the exact mechanism behind this is not fully understood, for over 70 years hearing aids have been considered an effective way to relieve tinnitus.11,12  

"Clinicians should recommend a hearing aid evaluation for patients with hearing loss and persistent, bothersome tinnitus”
American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Clinical Practice Guidelines: Tinnitus (2014)2

How hearing aids help with tinnitus

Scientific evidence2,4,11–13,16 supports hearing aids for tinnitus treatment as they can help reduce:

Tinnitus volume

By subtly amplifying natural background noises, hearing aids can make unpleasant tinnitus sounds less prominent.17 This can be anything from a cheerful bird song, to the ticking of a clock, or whirl of a ceiling fan.

Impact on mood

Hearing aids improve people’s emotional and mental wellbeing, including reducing depression and anxiety.18–21 Evidence suggests that improving a depressed mood can reduce tinnitus severity.22 The benefit is self-perpetuating – as reducing tinnitus volume alleviates frustration/improves mood.17  

Concentration difficulties and sleep loss

Although tinnitus doesn’t cause hearing loss, it can be distracting and make it hard to concentrate on things you want to hear.17 This may cause you to avoid socialising, for fear of mishearing or being unable to follow group conversations.23 
Hearing aids can help by making speech clearer, reducing the ‘effort’ of hearing24 – so you can get back to the life you remember before tinnitus. 

How can hearing aids help with tinnitus relief?
Sound therapy using hearing aids

Sound therapy means external  noises are brought in to help mask the troubling sounds of tinnitus. This could be white noise, specialised ear masking noises, low-level music or even your own customized sound. Think of a candle in a dark room. Since there’s such a contrast between the candle and its dark environment, the candle really stands out. But the same candle in a well-lit, busy room blends into the background. The same is true for tinnitus. The introduction of other sounds masks the tinnitus so that it blends in with the background and is less prominent.

Auditory stimulation

Auditory stimulation can provide tinnitus relief for a short period of time. A great variety of sounds can be used, including music with different types of filtering, amplitude modulated sounds with different frequencies, or various noise stimulations. If you don’t have special hearing aids for tinnitus masking, the ReSound Relief app offers a combination of sound therapy, relaxing exercises, meditation, and guidance, which can be streamed directly to your hearing aids. It can be used by all people suffering from tinnitus. If you don’t have hearing aids with Bluetooth technology, you can connect your smartphone or tablet to a headset and be on your way to a more comfortable life with tinnitus. 

Improved communication

Loud tinnitus can make it difficult for people to participate in a conversation. The best hearing aids for tinnitus help by augmenting external sound above the perceived volume of tinnitus. Improving communication with one’s surroundings may help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety often associated with auditory fatigue, having to listen intently throughout the day.

Some hearing aids include ‘sound generator’ programmes. You may hear these referred to as ‘combination’ hearing aids, as they have everything you need in a single, compact package. These combination hearing aids produce quiet background noises to soothe your tinnitus, by giving your mind something else to focus on.1,12 

Alongside hearing aids, there are several other tinnitus treatment options available to relive tinnitus. These include sound therapy, counselling, and relaxation. But you don’t have to pick one approach – they can all be used to support you. Tinnitus management programs aim to teach the brain to be less distracted by tinnitus sounds, while learning to focus on other more important things in life. 
Addressing stress with anti-anxiety measures like listening to soothing/calming sounds, exercise and meditation can also be an effective form of tinnitus treatment. Because tinnitus is unique from person to person, it’s important to find the best hearing aids for tinnitus for you, as well as a treatment plan that is individualised to your personal needs.

Another option is the ReSound Relief app, which provides engaging activities and comprehensive tips for understanding and managing your tinnitus.

ReSound Relief app

No matter how you hear or experience tinnitus, the ReSound Relief app helps you to easily and discreetly manage your symptoms. The app offers a combination of sound therapy, relaxing exercises, meditation, and guidance, so you can focus on the sounds that matter. It also allows you to create your own soundscapes from environmental sounds and small pieces of music, layering up to five sounds. For instance, using your smartphone or tablet and your Bluetooth wireless speaker headset, you can use the ReSound Relief app and get tinnitus relief at your fingertips.

Talk to a professional

If you have tinnitus, it is important to talk to your GP or a hearing professional (an audiologist or hearing aid dispenser).8,15 Hearing professionals have the necessary training and equipment to thoroughly assess your ears, hearing, and tinnitus, and to provide you with expert recommendations to help you find relief.18,25,26

Check your hearing

As many people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss it’s a good idea to have your hearing checked by a hearing professional.2,15

If you’re eager to gauge your hearing level before seeing a hearing professional, take our quick and easy online hearing test today.

Best hearing aids for tinnitus

All ReSound hearing aids have inbuilt sound generators, specifically designed to help  people with tinnitus. ReSound’s range of digital hearing aids provide an option to suit every type of hearing loss and budget. 

ReSound ONE is our newest rechargeable hearing aid - designed to enhance outdoor listening and take socialising in noisy environments to the next level.

Tinnitus hearing aid testimonial
Since 1943, ReSound has supported people with hearing loss and tinnitus. But don’t take our word for it – hear first-hand how our hearing aids have improved people's quality of life:

“I have had tinnitus and hearing loss for many years. I was subjected to extremely loud noise in the Army. I had to turn up the volume on TVs and radio. I could not hear or understand normal conversations. I could not follow conversations at restaurants or other gatherings. I always had to have people repeat themselves, so I could understand them. The tinnitus was affecting my sleep. These are my first hearing aids. I did not know how bad my hearing loss was until I first used my aids… I can hear conversations, the TV, the radio and phone conversations. I play the clarinet as a hobby and when I set my aids at the right level it is much easier to distinguish correct tones. While reading in a quiet room I turn on the background sounds to lessen tinnitus.”

Bob Ruck, Folsom, LA

Q & A: Tinnitus and hearing aids

Hearing aids for tinnitus can help decrease the effect of tinnitus by masking the sound with white noise. In the unlikely case you do experience your hearing aids for tinnitus making your tinnitus worse, it’s important that you consult your hearing care professional. Tinnitus is unique from person to person, but with help from your hearing care professional, you can find the right hearing aids for tinnitus to help manage your tinnitus symptoms. 
Hearing aids for tinnitus masking can help alleviate tinnitus by masking the internal ringing. By amplifying natural environmental sounds, hearing aids for tinnitus can make the unpleasant ringing of tinnitus less prominent. Specially designed programs in hearing aids for tinnitus allow you to play various sounds that can also help you move your attention away from your tinnitus. 
Hearing aids for tinnitus masking are not a cure for tinnitus, but they can help alleviate symptoms. Although your tinnitus may not go away entirely, there are many ways to take control of your tinnitus and reduce its impact on your life. A hearing care professional can help you manage your symptoms through education, counseling, and sound therapy.
The best hearing aids for tinnitus are designed to deliver relief from the ringing in your ears. By subtly amplifying background noise to help reduce the awareness of tinnitus, your brain can focus on the sounds you want to hear, instead of the sound of your tinnitus.
There's no cure for most types of tinnitus, but there are tinnitus management options that can give you relief. 

Would you like more information?

Download the ReSound Tinnitus Management Guide


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