Are Your Hearing Aids Optimized For Tinnitus Relief?

By Ben Thompson, AuD

When ringing in the ears is a problem, an adaptive noise generator allows you to manage tinnitus spikes with ease. Let’s talk about how to optimize your hearing aids for tinnitus.

Widex Moment Tinnitus

Hearing aids help tinnitus in two major ways. First, amplification of speech and environmental sound provides an important signal to the auditory brain. Second, hearing aids can be used to play soothing sounds designed to alleviate loud tinnitus. These sounds are typically called noise generators or tinnitus sound therapy.

As Bluetooth technology made its way into hearing aids, the flexibility of tinnitus sound therapy dramatically improved. Today, most hearing aids can stream audio from a smartphone. That means that the “library” of soothing tinnitus relief sounds is infinitely better.

Tinnitus “spikes” and adaptive relief

For individuals with chronic tinnitus, it is common to experience a tinnitus “spike.” That means the ringing in your ear(s) increases in volume for a period of time, typically a few days. Adaptive tinnitus relief is your key to be able to manage your tinnitus when it spikes and gets loud.

A lot of people have hearing aids with capabilities to provide tinnitus noise generator tones. If the feature was turned on, then it was typically programmed to a loudness level matching the loudness of your tinnitus when you were in the clinic with your hearing care provider. When a tinnitus spike comes, that hearing aid feature becomes very limited, unless you learn how to adjust the volume and quality of the sound therapy yourself via an adaptive tinnitus noise generator.

If you can adjust the volume and quality of the soothing sounds yourself, then you are likely to feel more calm and confident when your tinnitus decides to spike.

Setting up tinnitus noise generator in your hearing aids

The most adaptive controls for tinnitus relief are found through hearing aid smartphone apps. If you are comfortable with using apps on your smartphone, then I recommend that you get hearing aids that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. I recommend a free iPhone and Android app called ReSound Relief.

Another way to play soothing tinnitus sounds through your hearing aids is to use your own personal collection of music files through Spotify, Youtube, etc. You can stream your favorite nature sounds to your hearing aids via Bluetooth and control the volume based on your tinnitus.

Finding support

If your hearing aids do not connect to your phone, there is still hope that they can be configured by your audiologist or hearing care provider to provide adaptive tinnitus sound relief. Contact them and ask for a follow-up appointment to discuss your tinnitus.

Now you know how to optimize your hearing aids and use them as a tool to help with tinnitus spikes. Adaptive tinnitus tools provide relief so you can shift your focus away from your tinnitus and start focusing on what’s most important in your life.