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What is a Tinnitus Hearing Aid?

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  • Written By: N. Swensson
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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Tinnitus is a condition in which people hear ringing in their ears when no external sound is present. It can be caused by a variety of health conditions or ear damage caused by certain medications. One treatment option is a tinnitus hearing aid, which works by either improving the hearing loss that may be the problem's underlying cause, or by using other, more soothing noises to mask the ringing. In many cases, a masking device can help tinnitus sufferers learn to ignore the ringing sound. Treating tinnitus can help to improve a person's overall quality of life.

Tinnitus can be a symptom of hearing loss, so people who experience tinnitus may benefit from having their hearing checked as a first step toward identifying its cause. Hearing loss can be a result of ear infections, injuries, or conditions that cause swelling. When an underlying condition affects the hearing, it may be a temporary problem. If hearing loss is permanent and found to be a cause of tinnitus, a tinnitus hearing aid can help to relieve the unpleasant symptoms. In many cases, use of a hearing aid will stop ringing in the ears completely; if not, a masking device can be used.

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A masking device is a type of tinnitus hearing aid that covers the ringing sound with another noise that is more soothing, such as running water. By concentrating on the other sound, people can train themselves not to listen to the ringing. Masking devices are often used in conjunction with conventional hearing aids to treat tinnitus. While this type of treatment works for a number of people, some find the masking sound just as annoying as the ringing.

People who are successfully treated with a tinnitus hearing aid experience a number of benefits, because the condition can have many negative effects. Sufferers may have difficulty communicating and concentrating, which can lead to poor job performance, irritability, tension, and fatigue. If tinnitus is related to hearing loss, safety concerns and inability to perform daily tasks can result.

A tinnitus hearing aid may be purchased from a doctor or other hearing specialist. The cost of these devices can vary considerably, depending on the type and whether it is covered by health insurance. A doctor can provide the best guidance on how to obtain and use a tinnitus hearing aid.

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