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The constant ringing in your ears caused by tinnitus may lead you to feel stressed, anxious, irritated or distracted. Companies are offering new treatments each year to help you bring your tinnitus under control, however. Many hearing aid companies offer tinnitus treatment therapies as a built-in feature for popular hearing aid styles, but with dozens of brands on the market, it’s difficult to know where to start. We’ve chosen our favorite hearing aid brands for tinnitus treatment to help you get the relief you need.
What are the best tinnitus hearing aid companies?
We evaluated 20 brands and chose our favorite hearing aid companies based on their tinnitus technology and apps, positive reviews for tinnitus relief and consumer ratings of their tinnitus apps. Each of these companies has built-in tinnitus technology on a variety of hearing aid styles and are compatible with sound therapy apps.
The exact cause of tinnitus is unknown, but physicians agree that some conditions may result in tinnitus symptoms. Conditions that may cause tinnitus include hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, certain diseases and medical conditions, earwax buildup, head injuries and medications. In many cases, tinnitus is paired with some level of hearing loss, and physicians suspect that the brain and ear systems create sound in the absence of any noise that you can hear.
If you have a whooshing, buzzing or ringing in your ears, visit a doctor and get tested for tinnitus and hearing loss. Your doctor can measure your tinnitus, find another sound that masks your tinnitus for proper sound therapy and evaluate whether you have hearing loss.
Because there is no cure for tinnitus, sound therapy treats tinnitus symptoms by masking the frequency and volume of your tinnitus. Most sound therapies involve playing white noise, like environmental sounds, static sounds or musical tones. Additionally, tinnitus treatment typically includes relaxation and breathing exercises — tinnitus symptoms often increase when you’re under stress. With new technology, some companies have developed sound therapies that distract the brain or interrupt the sound energy of your tinnitus. Talk to your doctor about the options available for the tone, frequency and type of your tinnitus.
Our favorite hearing aid tinnitus app options
Embrace Hearing offers built-in tinnitus sound therapy on every hearing aid style it sells, and its Bluetooth hearing aids can connect with any tinnitus app on the market. There are dozens of apps for tinnitus, calming sound therapy and white noise, and Embrace Hearing lets you choose the app that works for you. Embrace’s built-in tinnitus technology uses a broadband sound generator that is customized to mask the tone and frequency of your tinnitus.
App: Connects with any app
Hearing aids: RIC, BTE, CIC styles
Technology: Broadband sound generation that masks tinnitus
Beltone has a highly-rated and customizable tinnitus app that allows users to listen to preprogrammed sounds or create a customized soundscape. The app lets users adjust environmental, musical and therapeutic sounds at varying volumes. In addition to sound therapies, the Beltone Tinnitus Calmer app includes relaxing breathing exercises, guided meditations and a tracking feature that lets you see the patterns of when and how often you need these therapies. The app is available with a variety of hearing aid styles or can be used with any speakers or headphones.
App: Beltone Tinnitus Calmer
Hearing aids: RIC, BTE, ITE, CIC styles
Technology: Calming sound therapy and customizable soundscapes
Miracle-Ear offers preprogrammed tinnitus technology with three options in most receiver-in-canal and behind-the-ear models. These options include static noise, ocean waves and Notch Therapy, and they are adjusted using the Miracle-Ear app. Static noise and ocean waves focus the brain on these noises instead of your tinnitus. Notch Therapy removes the sound energy of your tinnitus, which makes your tinnitus sound much quieter. This new technology is only available on a few hearing aid brands and works best for tonal tinnitus.
Hearing aids: RIC, BTE styles
Technology: Notch Therapy with static noise and music
Widex offers the Zen tinnitus management app and includes Zen therapy technology in many of its hearing aids. Widex distributors test your tinnitus to find the tones and volume that relieve your symptoms, and the technology creates fractal tones that help your brain focus on sounds other than tinnitus. The fractal tones are not repetitive, which prevents your brain from getting used to the tone. Widex also provides relaxation techniques and counseling for all users who need tinnitus relief.
Tinnitus is a sound in your ear that is often caused by hearing damage or loss. The sound is typically described as a ringing, whooshing, buzzing or humming. There is no cure for tinnitus, but it can be treated with sound therapies.
Do hearing aids help tinnitus?
Because tinnitus appears worse in quieter environments, hearing aids can help those with hearing loss relieve their tinnitus. Many hearing aids come with additional built-in sound therapies to provide further relief. These hearing aids are called combination devices.
Can tinnitus cause hearing loss?
Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss, but many people who have hearing loss also have tinnitus. If you believe your hearing loss has worsened, visit your doctor to get a hearing test and a tinnitus test.
Why does tinnitus get worse at night?
Without other sounds to focus on when it’s quiet, such as at night, the brain focuses on your tinnitus. Many people find tinnitus relief at night by generating some white noise with a speaker, noise generator or fan. Wearing hearing aids while sleeping is also an option, though the battery might die during the night.
What causes tinnitus to worsen?
Tinnitus may worsen when you’re experiencing stress or you’ve consumed alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, salt or aspirin. Talk to your doctor about what else might cause your tinnitus to get worse.
Professionals continue to develop new technologies for tinnitus treatment as they learn more about the causes and impact. If you have hearing loss and tinnitus, hearing aids significantly increase your quality of life, allow you to hear all the sounds you’ve been missing and provide relief from your constant tinnitus. When shopping for a hearing aid for your tinnitus, consider the built-in technology and app. These features help train your brain to ignore your tinnitus.
Sandi Pope previously worked in the nonprofit sector as an advocate for environmental and social change and believes information access is a human right. As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, she seeks to provide consumers with the necessary information needed in making life-altering decisions.