Tinnitus is a common condition that causes a ringing sound in peoples ears making it difficult for them to hear. This noise might come and go, or remain steady. People with tinnitus might also suffer from some hearing loss which is why many turn to hearing aids.
There are so many types of hearing aids, all catering to different levels of hearing loss or conditions. It can be hard to know what hearing aid to choose, especially for something as specific as tinnitus. To help, here’s an up-to-date round up of the 5 best hearing aids for tinnitus for 2023…
Do Hearing Aid for Tinnitus Work?
In fact, hearing aids have been utilized as a treatment for certain types of tinnitus for over 70 years, notes WebMD. If an individual experiences tinnitus along with hearing loss, it can be challenging to perceive external sounds. Typically, hearing aids function by amplifying surrounding sounds, which may make it less likely for the person to hear or notice their tinnitus.
Recently developed hearing aid models combine amplification with sound therapy. According to the source, these hearing aids produce random, comforting sounds to divert the individual’s attention from the ringing in their ears. Additionally, the sounds they generate can have a calming effect that promotes relaxation. Lowering stress levels may also aid in alleviating tinnitus symptoms.
According to Amy Sarow, Au.D., a Michigan-based audiologist, “The ReSound OMNIA is a high-quality hearing aid with exceptional sound quality that functions seamlessly with the ReSound app. This hearing aid is a superb option for people with mild to severe hearing loss, as well as those interested in Bluetooth connectivity.” She also boasts to Forbes Health about the M&RIE [microphone & receiver-in-ear] feature which helps with background noise, wind noise, and the wearers’ perception of their own voice.
Lindsay Banks, Au.D., a Florida-based audiologist adds, “The ReSound Relief app for ReSound hearing aids is one of the most comprehensive tinnitus apps. It enables users to customize their sound therapy and stream it directly to their hearing aids.”
Starkey Evolv AI
Starkey offers the Multiflex Tinnitus function in all hearing aid models, covering all technology levels, says HearingTracker. There are three tinnitus maskers to choose from: Audiogram-shaped, White noise, and Customized. The Audiogram-shaped signal uses the patient’s specific hearing thresholds, reducing the risk of the signal being excessively loud or too soft in the specific frequency ranges.
The White Noise signal distributes energy evenly across the frequency range based on the patient’s pure tone average, explains the source. However, with non-flat hearing loss, parts of the stimulus can sometimes be too loud or too soft. The Customized Signal stimulus takes this concept further, allowing for more precise tailoring by adjusting individual bands of noise and modulation to the patient’s preference. While it takes more time to set up, it yields the best results.
Phonak Audeo Lumity
While talking to Forbes Health, Dr. Sarow rates the Phonak Audeo Lumity as an excellent choice for individuals with mild to moderately severe hearing loss. A sturdy and water resistant hearing aid, it’s also a great choice for active and outdoorsy people. Sarow also mentions Phonak’s Smart Speech technology which provides additional advantages in speech comprehension. Plus their Tinnitus Balance program offers customized tinnitus relief choices for the user.
Phonak prioritizes broadband sounds over nature sounds. These include white noise, pink noise, or shaped sound based on the user’s hearing loss, notes Abram Bailey, Au.D., a hearing aid expert who talked to Forbes Health. Moreover, the three-band graphic equalizer allows users to adjust low, mid, and high sound settings for their hearing aids.
Widex has long been a trailblazer in tinnitus therapy, having developed the Zen Tinnitus Management program in 2012, notes HearingTracker. The Zen therapy approach utilizes fractal tones, which are unique to Widex. They are the only manufacturer to offer fractal tone therapy for tinnitus. Widex also offers tinnitus-specific hearing aids in a variety of styles and technology levels.
Fractal tones are harmonic and melodic tons resembling the sounds of wind chimes. Their effectiveness lies in their completely random presentation. According to HearingTracker, this randomness ensures our brain won’t associate them with any familiar music, making them an effective tool in tinnitus therapy. The unpredictability is also crucial for habituation and alleviating the negative effects of tinnitus, achieved through passive listening.
Another added benefit? Consumers are able to control the pace, pitch, and volume of Zen therapy.
These hearing aids cater to individuals experiencing mild to severe hearing loss and are available in various styles. Oticon’s Tinnitus SoundSupport is included with these hearing aids, which allows users to personalize relief sounds to mask or reduce tinnitus sounds, explains Healthline. These relief sounds consist of white noise and ocean waves.
The Oticon ON app controls the sound. It also allows users to listen to music, podcasts, and relaxation guides. According to the manufacturer, Oticon More hearing aids also promote brain health and enhance speech comprehension by providing more sound to the brain. This is achieved through a network embedded in the chip, which can recognize over 12 million sounds.