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New research shows that hearing aids could help tinnitus sufferers

Posted Mar 18 2010 5:20pm

tinnitus relief.jpg New research which shows that hearing aids could help thousands of people across the country who suffer from the debilitating condition, tinnitus, has been welcomed today by Suffolk’s leading hearing care specialist.

According to the national charity Deafness Research UK , its survey revealed that 40% of tinnitus sufferers could benefit from correctly prescribed and fitted hearing aids in both ears, as a way to bring relief.

Although around 10% of the population is affected by tinnitus, it’s extremely difficult to provide medical help because the sound isn’t usually caused by anything physical or biological which can be cured, it comes from within the sufferer themselves.

Symptoms of the condition can be anything from a constant low buzzing, to a tremendous noise that makes life for many a misery.

Karen Finch, Managing Director of The Hearing Care Centre, based in the county town of Ipswich, has welcomed the survey findings, but remains concerned that over half of those that took part in the survey said they would not consider hearing aids, even if they relieved their symptoms.

Karen has been campaigning for years to change attitudes to hearing aids – and so eradicate the stigma still associated with them. “People still think of the old fashioned whistling hearing aids in pink plastic which were perhaps worn by their grandparents and great grandparents”, says Karen.

“This image just isn’t true anymore: hearing aids can be so discreet that they are almost invisible, or they can be fashionable with modern styling and colours. But most important, the sound quality and performance is so far ahead of great-grannies hearing aid that it’s like comparing digital surround sound with a megaphone.”

The Deafness Research UK survey was aimed predominately at the over 65 age group, who made up 70% of respondents because above the age of 60, more than half of people have an age related hearing loss.

Karen, who has centres in 12 other towns in Suffolk, says sadly many people wait as long as ten or even fifteen years before seeking help for their hearing loss, particularly if they also suffer tinnitus.

“This can mean they have suffered the symptoms of this terrible condition when they need not have done, but worst for many it means their quality of life has been affected too.”

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