It’s estimated that as much as 30% of the UKs population will experience tinnitus somewhen in their life, and more than 1 in 8 (around 13%) will live the condition constantly. While tinnitus can be an incredibly debilitating condition, affecting the sufferers life in ways that can impact upon both their physical and mental health, you might be curious to know whether it can lead to a loss of hearing.
For those suffering with tinnitus, the niggling buzzing or ringing sound in their ears can be enough to drive them crazy, but thankfully there are safe, modern therapies nowadays that can ease their discomfort, such as Lenire Tinnitus Treatment in Nottingham. But while help is out there for tinnitus sufferers, the condition can also cause their hearing to deteriorate. While the condition itself doesn’t cause hearing loss, the two are, however, closely connected.
Let’s explore this in a little more detail:
Tinnitus and hearing loss; the link
Despite the fact that hearing loss and tinnitus are frequently connected, it’s not true to say that one causes the other to occur. Instead, with the same underlying causes responsible for both tinnitus and hearing loss, it’s perhaps little wonder that they can occur simultaneously. In fact, reports suggest that as many as 72% of those experiencing hearing loss, also suffer from constant tinnitus. Reports also found that the worse someone’s hearing loss was, the worse the tinnitus was, too.
Loss of hearing is usually triggered by some form of damage being caused to the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear, such as a very loud noise, an infection or disease, or general wear and tear as the body ages. When these hair cells are damaged, some sound waves that hit the ear are not able to be identified, hence there is no signal sent from the ear to the brain to tell it about the noise. This is known as hearing loss, and as it gets progressively worse, or more cells become damaged, the tinnitus gets progressively worse, too. As you can imagine, this could easily explain why many people mistakenly believe that tinnitus is responsible for hearing loss.
Coping with tinnitus
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that tinnitus sufferers can alleviate their irritating symptoms:
- Sound therapy
At night time, most households are a lot quieter than they are during the day, and when someone with tinnitus puts their head on their pillow and tries to sleep, the quietness may emphasise the tinnitus they’re experiencing, making it more difficult to nod off. In some instances, tinnitus sufferers find it helps them to listen to what can be described as a low-level noise, such as those you can find on modern sleep apps, or from a sound machine; this is known as sound therapy.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, when used as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with sound therapy, can give sufferers of tinnitus the means to better cope with the stress and anxiety the condition often causes. Helping individuals to identify their thought processes when suffering with the condition, they can then learn how to try and reinterpret the symptoms in a way that’s more positive.
- Lenire therapy
Lenire is a certified, safe, simple, convenient and wholly non-invasive medical device designed to help treat tinnitus. When used under the supervision of a registered audiologist, Lenire Tinnitus Therapy in Nottingham can be used to help alleviate symptoms of the condition, and ultimately, make the patient’s life much more bearable.
- Hearing aids
If you suffer with hearing loss and tinnitus, a hearing aid can help restore sounds you might not otherwise have heard, helping to reduce the noise caused by tinnitus.
While having tinnitus doesn’t necessarily mean you will also experience hearing loss, there is a strong likelihood that you may. With this in mind, it’s important to seek help from an audiologist early on in your diagnosis, so that you can minimize the impact of both conditions on your everyday life.