May 26, 2022

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5 of the best hearing aids for tinnitus 2022

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People with tinnitus may also have hearing loss. Several manufacturers sell hearing aids with features to help relieve tinnitus symptoms.

This article explains what tinnitus is and how it impacts health. It also discusses how hearing aids can help and offers a list of products.

A quick look at 5 of the best hearing aids for tinnitus

Tinnitus commonly presents as a ringing in the ears. Sometimes, it can sound like a roar, click, hiss, or buzz. It may be high or low pitched, loud or quiet, and affect one or both ears.

There is no single trigger for tinnitus. While it can be a sign that there is an issue in the auditory system, doctors do not often find a cause.

Causes of tinnitus can range from an excess of earwax to long-term damage. Sometimes, it is the first sign of hearing loss in older adults. Other causes of tinnitus include:

Tinnitus can self-resolve — stopping medication that causes it or limiting exposure to loud noises may make it go away. However, a person should consult with a doctor before stopping any prescribed medicines.

Pulsatile tinnitus, a rare form of tinnitus, can sound similar to a rhythmic pulsing in the ear. This pulsing may be in time with an individual’s heartbeat. Doctors may be able to hear this sound when using a stethoscope or a small microphone. This form of tinnitus may be due to abnormal growth, such as a tumor or an abnormal connection between veins and arteries.

It is important to seek medical attention if someone believes they may have pulsatile tinnitus.

Tinnitus can be an early sign of hearing loss. Some people may choose to use hearing aids to help with hearing loss and tinnitus.

Research suggests that hearing aids may help people with tinnitus by increasing background noise, which may help mask tinnitus noises.

A small 2015 study with 30 participants found that hearing aids can help alleviate tinnitus symptoms. The participants reported a more significant reduction in tinnitus symptoms when using hearing aids than other devices.

Some people with tinnitus who do not have hearing loss may find sound maskers beneficial. These devices sit in the ear and emit white noise.

Many hearing aid brands offer some form of tinnitus relief. These may come in the form of an app that connects to the devices or a program within the hearing aid itself.

Individuals may wish to consider the following before purchasing a hearing aid:

  • Battery: Some models are rechargeable, while others use disposable batteries.
  • Cost: The cost of hearing aids will affect a person’s decision on whether to buy them. Devices with more features will often be more expensive. Tinnitus markers, which generate sounds without hearing aids, can also be costly.
  • Smartphone compatibility: Some brands offer tinnitus relief via an app, so a person may wish to check that their smartphone is compatible with these devices.
  • Style: For some, a discreet style may be an important factor. A person may also need to check the severity of their hearing loss, as some devices that sit in the ear canal may not be effective for them.

Learn more about how to choose a hearing aid here.

Medical News Today does not rank products in any order and does not recommend one product over another. A person should choose the product that best fits their needs.

MNT chooses products that fit the following criteria where possible:

  • FDA approval: MNT chooses products that have received FDA approval.
  • Hearing aid styles: MNT chooses products in a range of styles, such as in-the-ear, in-the-canal, and behind-the-ear.
  • Features: MNT chooses products with a range of features, such as rechargeable batteries, white noise, and smartphone app connectivity.
  • Tinnitus features: MNT chooses products that may help relieve tinnitus, with features such as white noise and customizable soundscapes.

Below is a list of hearing aid products that may be useful for people with tinnitus.

Best for tonal tinnitus: Signia Styletto X

  • Features: This product features three types of relief: static noise, ocean wave sounds, and notch therapy.
  • Pro: This product is compatible with the Signia App, which people can use to format settings.
  • Con: The Signia Styletto X is only available through hearing healthcare professionals.

Many of Signia’s hearing aids feature built-in tinnitus relief, which the company calls notch therapy. This function delivers three different types of relief: static noise, ocean wave sounds, and notch therapy.

The static noise and ocean wave sounds cover up the tinnitus noises by providing a distraction to reduce its impact.

Notch therapy reduces tonal tinnitus, which Signia claims may cause the symptom to disappear completely. The company says a person should contact their hearing healthcare professional to find out more and set up this function.

Signia does not provide its products directly to consumers. Individuals must contact their hearing healthcare professional to try or buy this product.

Additional features of the Signia Styletto include:

  • rechargeable charging case, which protects units when not in use
  • slim behind-the-ear design
  • different color options
  • connectivity with the Signia app

Best for an app: ReSound Relief

  • Features: This app offers several features, such as meditation and sound therapy, which stream directly into a person’s hearing aids.
  • Pro: This app is free and compatible with six of ReSound’s devices.
  • Con: This app is not compatible with all of ReSound’s devices.

ReSound’s offers an app called Relief, which provides tinnitus relief.

The app offers a mix of sound therapy, relaxation exercises, meditation, and guidance, while the audio streams into a person’s hearing aid.

Resound Relief is compatible with six of ReSound’s devices. It is free to download and available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The company states that hearing aid users can customize their soundscape by choosing between their library of sounds and balancing the sound between both ears. This may mask the tinnitus and, over time, help people manage the symptom.

While ReSound provides their app free of charge, they only provide their hearing aid products through hearing healthcare professionals. The cost of a ReSound device will vary by provider and location.

Best for multiple hearing aid styles: Starkey Livio Edge AI

  • Features: This product features a customizable soundscape that may relieve the effects of tinnitus.
  • Pro: This product is available in behind-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, in-the-ear, and in-the-canal styles.
  • Con: The Starkey Livio Edge AI is only available through hearing healthcare professionals.

All of Starkey’s hearing aid devices feature tinnitus technology.

The Starkey Livio Edge AI works by delivering a customizable soundscape that users or hearing healthcare professionals can fine-tune, which may soothe and relieve the effects of tinnitus.

As well as this built-in technology, Starkey also offers a tinnitus relief app called Relax, another customizable soundscape with the addition of images that can help soothe tinnitus. A person does not need hearing aids to use this app.

Starkey only sells their products through hearing healthcare professionals, and as such, the exact cost will depend on the healthcare professional providing the service and their location.

Other features of the Starkey Livio Edge AI include:

  • Bluetooth compatibility
  • brain and body tracking
  • rechargeable battery
  • customizable programs and places
  • fall detection and alerts
  • translation and transcription feature
  • behind-the-ear, receiver-in-canal, in-the-ear, and in-the-canal styles

Best for downloading soundscapes: Oticon More Hearing Aid

  • Features: This hearing aid has built-in tinnitus support sounds, such as white noise.
  • Pro: People can download their own tinnitus relief sounds through the Oticon ON app.
  • Con: The Oticon More Hearing Aid is only available through hearing healthcare professionals.

The More Hearing Aid from Oticon offers built-in tinnitus support. It allows a person to customize and choose from various sounds, such as the ocean or white noise.

The Oticon More is only available to individuals through authorized Oticon professionals, so cost varies by provider and location.

Individuals can choose which sounds they hear through Oticon’s ON app, available for iPhone and Android. People can also stream their own tinnitus relief audio options, such as music, audiobooks, podcasts, and relaxation guides.

Other features of the Oticon More Hearing Aid include:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • choice of rechargeable or replaceable battery
  • background sound enhancement
  • availability in eight colors

Best for an invisible hearing aid: Phonak Lyric

  • Features: Phonak states that this hearing aid can reduce tinnitus because people can wear it for months before needing to take it out and turn it off.
  • Pro: Phonak states that this hearing aid is completely invisible once a healthcare professional places it inside their ear canal.
  • Con: The Phonak Lyric is only available via subscription, which may not appeal to those who prefer to own their hearing aids.

The Phonak Lyric sits inside the ear canal next to the eardrum. A healthcare professional will fit the hearing aid, and once it is in the ear, the person will not need to take it out or turn it off for months at a time.

The Lyric uses the anatomy of the ear to amplify sound. The company states that this hearing aid may reduce tinnitus sounds faster than some of its competitors. It may also improve sleep quality as a person does not need to take the device out or turn it off before sleeping.

The Phonak Lyric is only available by subscription, which means a person must pay for yearly access to the hearing device. A subscription covers the cost of serving, maintaining, and replacing the hearing aid.

The following table provides a comparison between the hearing devices in this article.

While each device has pros and cons, people should always contact a healthcare professional for advice and recommendations on which device best suits their needs.

The American Tinnitus Association says nearly 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus, making it one of the most common health conditions in the country. Approximately 20 million individuals have chronic tinnitus, while 2 million find that tinnitus severely negatively impacts their daily life.

Tinnitus can impact mental and physical health. People with the symptom may experience the following:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • mood swings
  • difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • irritability
  • poor concentration

People may notice sounds from tinnitus when there is low background noise, such as when they are in a quiet environment or trying to sleep.

Other options

The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) states that the following treatments may provide tinnitus relief:

  • Counseling: Therapy, such as tinnitus retraining, can help people learn how to live with the symptom. Counseling can help people understand what causes tinnitus and help them change how they react to it.
  • Wearable sound generators: These devices fit in the ear and make soft sounds, tones, or music to help mask tinnitus.
  • Tabletop sound generators: These devices sit by the bed and play sounds, such as waves, waterfalls, or rain, to help people with tinnitus fall asleep. Additionally, CDs, phone apps, and fans may also help mask sounds from tinnitus.
  • Acoustic neural stimulation: This technique uses a palm-sized device and headphones to deliver a broadband acoustic signal alongside music. They aim to help people feel less sensitive to tinnitus.
  • Cochlear implants: These hearing devices bypass the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve, which may help mask tinnitus.
  • Antidepressants and other medications: Certain prescription medications can improve mood and help people with tinnitus fall asleep. A 2012 systematic review found that tricyclic antidepressants, such as trazodone, can decrease tinnitus intensity and improve quality of life.

Additionally, people may find meditation beneficial. Another systematic review found that individuals with tinnitus experienced a reduction in distress by participating in mindfulness groups.

The NIDCD recommends that people may prevent tinnitus from becoming worse by:

  • keeping volume on devices low
  • moving away from sound sources, such as loudspeakers
  • wearing hearing protection, such as earplugs, where possible

A person should consult a doctor or audiologist if their tinnitus:

  • becomes regular or constant
  • gets worse
  • affects sleep or concentration
  • affects mental health
  • beats in time with their pulse
  • presents as sounds in the ear that other people can hear

People with tinnitus may also experience hearing loss. Hearing aids can provide relief for tinnitus by amplifying background noises and masking tinnitus sounds.

Many hearing care brands have some form of tinnitus relief technology in their hearing devices. Some brands have the technology built-in to the hearing aids, others have an app, and some companies offer both.

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