Hearing Aids Reduce "Ringing" In The Ears
A new study recently conducted by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has found that nearly thirty million Americans – or ten percent of our population – suffer from chronic tinnitus, or "ringing in the ears."
In fact, tinnitus was recently indicated to be the number one service-connected disability of military personnel returning from service in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Sufferers of tinnitus generally describe the noise as a ringing, a humming, or a buzzing. The sound can be constant or intermittent, and in one or in both ears.
"Persistent, chronic tinnitus is a highly intrusive, increasingly common condition that can interfere with a person's cognition, ability to interact with family and friends, and basic life functions," stated Jennifer Born, study co-author and the Director of Public Affairs at the American Tinnitus Association.
The leading cause of tinnitus is extreme exposure to noise. Those suffering from the condition almost always have hearing loss in conjunction with tinnitus. Yet, the researchers involved the study were surprised by the number of respondents who initially reported that they had tinnitus, but no hearing loss. After testing them, however, the study authors discovered that the majority of the respondents did, indeed, have hearing loss.
"It's very likely that these individuals were aware of their tinnitus but not their hearing loss – which would indicate that the population with hearing loss is much larger than previously believed," noted study co-author Dr. Sergei Kochkin.
"People suffering with tinnitus should seek the counsel of an audiologist so that appropriate remedies are explored," said Dr. Frieda Toback, Director of Audiology at McGuire's Hearing Aids and Audio- logical Services. "It's quite possible that a patient's tinnitus can be helped by hearing devices."