Tinnitus – that ringing, buzzing, whistling or other noises in the ear – can disrupt lives and interfere with the enjoyment of everyday activities. It can be intermittent or constant and some people report that they even hear it in their sleep.
“What many people don’t realize is that tinnitus can be an early sign of hearing loss,” say Dr. Kurt T. Pfaff of Hearing care Specialists of Hopkins, Glencoe and Watertown, MN. “Hearing loss and tinnitus are closely linked. It’s estimated that 90% of tinnitus sufferers experience some degree of noise-induced hearing loss.”
Hearing instruments have proven helpful for people with hearing loss who also experience tinnitus. The explanation is simple. With better hearing, the brain has other external sounds to listen to, making tinnitus less perceptible. Improved hearing also takes away the strain of listening, especially in difficult listening situations, and may help to reduce the stress associated with tinnitus.
“For some people, hearing solutions may be all that is needed to find relief for tinnitus,” says Dr. Pfaff “For people who require additional support, relief sounds have proven beneficial. Soothing nature sounds and ‘white noise’ can help to take attention away from tinnitus and provide relief.”
Dr. Pfaff points out that a just-introduced hearing instrument makes it possible for people with hearing loss to not only hear better but also find relief from tinnitus.
New Oticon Alta2 features innovative BrainHearing™ technology that works to preserve as much natural sound and detail as possible so the brain doesn’t have to work as hard to understand what is being said. The result is a clearer, more effortless listening experience that helps preserve energy throughout the day.
When additional support for tinnitus is needed, Tinnitus SoundSupport™ can be fully integrated into select models of Alta2 so that people with tinnitus can benefit from relief sounds throughout the day. Users choose the combination of relief sounds they prefer from soothing ocean sounds to more traditional “white noise” broadband sounds. Tinnitus SoundSupport is the first integrated relief sound generator to offer ocean sounds, a popular category of sounds that have shown great promise in decreasing tinnitus annoyance.
“Both BrainHearing technology and the new Tinnitus SoundSupport can be personalized to individual hearing needs and sound preferences,” explains Dr. Pfaff
For more information on hearing loss, tinnitus, Alta 2 and Tinnitus SoundSupport, contact Dr. Kurt T. Pfaff at 952-931-9144.