How are Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Related?

Tinnitus affects over 45 million Americans. It is one of the most common health conditions in the U.S. Tinnitus is the perception of sound not produced by an external source to the body.

Tinnitus, also known as “ringing in the ears”, can present with a variety of other sounds. People also report:

  • Buzzing
  • Hissing
  • Clicking
  • Humming
  • Roaring

Causes of Tinnitus

There are a number of different causes of tinnitus. Researchers believe that it may be the result of damage or a blockage in the auditory system. This then interferes with how sound signals get to our brains. Our brains try to fill gaps in sound signals with spontaneous signals.

Dr. Robert Dobie of the American Tinnitus Association (ATA), notes: “In almost all cases, tinnitus is caused by the brain’s reaction to a loss of hearing.”

The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) has put together samples of common tinnitus sounds, which you can listen to here. This may help describe the symptoms you’re experiencing to a doctor or a loved one. 

Who Can Get Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can affect anyone, but there are certain risk factors. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Occupational hazards
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Certain medications
  • Certain health conditions

One health condition linked to tinnitus is hearing loss. 

How are Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Related?

Most cases of tinnitus are connected to hearing loss. This hearing loss is commonly the result of damage to the inner ear. This can be caused by the natural aging process, or sudden exposure to loud noise. Known as sensorineural hearing loss, it is the most common hearing impairment.

Although less common, it is also possible for tinnitus to be caused by conductive hearing loss. This is when a blockage or other impediment is located between the outer and inner ear.

Up to 90% of people with tinnitus also have a hearing loss. For many, their hearing loss is potentially causing the tinnitus. Many are unaware that they have both conditions.

Treating Tinnitus

Treating the underlying condition causing tinnitus is the best way to minimize symptoms. In the case of tinnitus caused by hearing loss, seeking help from a hearing professional is recommended.

Get Your Hearing Health Checked Today!

The hearing specialists at Hearing Aid Specialists of CT will gladly offer a hearing assessment. From there, the appropriate treatment options can be discussed. Click here to request an appointment online, or call our team on 888-657-5768.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.