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Understand How Tinnitus Works

About 10% of the U.S. adult population suffers from tinnitus, and it affects both people who can hear and those who have hearing loss. Many describe tinnitus as hearing one or several sounds that only the listener can hear, such as:

  • Hissing
  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Roaring or rushing
  • Clicking
  • Crackling

Tinnitus Maskers Are an Option for Relief

Add Built-In Technology to Your Hearing Aid for Fewer Tinnitus Symptoms

woman in pain touching her ear

Causes of Tinnitus

  • Hearing loss
  • Exposure to loud sounds
  • Sudden impact noises
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Stress
  • The use of medications like aspirin
  • Ear wax
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
  • Other medical issues

Using a tinnitus masker may lessen your symptoms and provide the relief you’re searching for.

What is a Tinnitus Masker?

A tinnitus masker provides a different type of sound to signal the brain to focus less on the sounds associated with tinnitus. It works by mimicking the technology used in noise-canceling headphones, which omits the pitch or frequency of tinnitus.

A tinnitus masker for a hearing aid is a small electronic instrument that can be built in to help the wearer. There is also sound therapy for those who are not hard of hearing and don’t use a hearing aid.

Tinnitus can be extremely disruptive to an individual’s everyday life, making even quiet moments difficult to handle. Dr. Pasha’s audiology team frequently dispenses tinnitus maskers, which can alleviate the symptoms associated with tinnitus depending on your condition.


What Is the Treatment for Tinnitus?

Hearing aids are widely used with a masker to balance out sounds of tinnitus. Sound therapy is also an option for those who have normal hearing but still suffer from symptoms of tinnitus.

Treatment for tinnitus may involve solving temporary problems like ear wax, medication, or an ear infection. In this case, you can talk to your doctor about removing the ear wax, using another medicine, or healing from your ear infection.

However, some people have no specific cause for their tinnitus, which means treatment may vary. Instead of searching for solutions on the internet, it’s best to speak to an experienced professional to get the help you need.

What Is Masking & How Does It Reduce Tinnitus?

Many people find that silence makes tinnitus symptoms worse. We treat tinnitus by creating an acoustic environment filled out by something more than silence. Doing so allows the brain to minimize the impact or perceptions of the signal. Furthermore, hearing varied sounds can help the brain switch to another focus faster over time.

How Do Tinnitus Maskers Work With Hearing Aids?

Many of today’s high-performance digital hearing aids include tinnitus masking technology. This means the user has dual functionality to amplify sounds or mask them as needed. It’s important to understand how your exact device works so that you can program it to work in the best way possible for your ears.
Insurance doesn’t always cover hearing devices, but some plans will offer a benefit toward the cost. Dr. Pasha’s office accepts many insurance providers and is happy to file a claim for our patients considering this option.

What about hearing aids?

People with hearing loss may find that their hearing aids reduce tinnitus and occasionally cause it to go away. Even a person with a minor hearing deficit may find that hearing aids relieve his tinnitus. However, a thorough trial before purchase is advisable if the primary purpose is the relief of tinnitus. Often, when the hearing aid is removed, the head noise returns to its former level.

Do Tinnitus Maskers Work?

Yes, but they do not provide a cure. Added sounds with maskers offer something else for the brain to focus on to minimize the annoyance of tinnitus. However, maskers cannot completely cure tinnitus.

Which Medicines Can Cause Tinnitus?

The following medications may be causing your tinnitus:

  • ACE Inhibitors and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers
  • Antibiotics Isotretinoin
  • Aspirin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Beta Blockers
  • Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants
  • Loop Diuretics

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Pasha if you think medications could be the cause of your tinnitus.