4 of the best hearing aids for tinnitus
We include products that we think will be useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here is our process.
People with tinnitus can also suffer from hearing loss. Several manufacturers sell hearing aids with features to help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus.
This article explains what tinnitus is, how hearing aids can help, a list of products, and how tinnitus impacts health.
Tinnitus usually presents as a ringing in the ears. It can also sometimes sound like a roar, click, hiss or buzz. It can be high-pitched or deep, loud or silent, and affect one or both ears.
There is no single trigger for tinnitus – although it can be a sign of a problem in the hearing system, doctors often don’t find the cause.
The causes of tinnitus can range from excess earwax to other long-term damage. Sometimes this is the first sign of hearing loss in older people. Other causes of tinnitus include:
Tinnitus can self-resolution – stopping the drugs that are the cause or limiting exposure to loud noises may cease to occur. However, consult a doctor before stopping any prescribed medication.
Pulsatile tinnitus, a rare form of tinnitus, can resemble a rhythmic pulse in the ear. This pulse can be synchronized with an individual’s heart rate. Doctors can hear this sound when they use a stethoscope or a small microphone. This form of tinnitus can be due to an abnormal growth, such as a tumor, or an abnormal connection between the veins and the arteries.
It is important to see a doctor if a person thinks they may have pulsatile tinnitus.
Tinnitus can be an early sign of hearing loss. Some people may choose to use hearing aids to combat hearing loss and tinnitus.
Some people with tinnitus who do not have hearing loss may find it sound masking beneficial. These devices are placed in the ear and emit white noise.
Many brands of hearing aids offer some form of tinnitus relief. These can take the form of an app that connects to devices or a program in the hearing aid itself.
Individuals may want to consider the following before purchasing a hearing aid:
- Battery: Some models are rechargeable, while others use disposable batteries.
- Cost: The cost of a hearing aid influences a person’s decision whether or not to buy it. Devices with more features will often be more expensive. Tinnitus markers, devices that generate sound without hearing aids, can also be expensive.
- Smartphone compatibility: Some brands offer tinnitus relief through an app, so a person may want to verify that their smartphone is compatible with these devices.
- Style: For some, understated styling can be an important factor to consider. A person may also need to check the severity of their hearing loss, as some devices placed in the ear canal may not be effective for them.
Learn more about choosing a hearing aid here.
Below is a list of hearing aid products that may be helpful for people with tinnitus.
Please note that the author has not tested these products. All information is based on research.
Many Signia hearing aids have built-in tinnitus relief, which the company calls Notch therapy. This feature offers three different types of relief: static noise, ocean wave sounds, and notch therapy.
Static noise and the sounds of ocean waves cover up the tinnitus noises by providing a distraction to reduce its impact.
Notch Therapy reduces tonal tinnitus, which Signia says can make the symptom go away completely. The company says a person should contact their hearing care professional to find out more and set up this feature.
Additional features of the Signia Styletto include:
- Rechargeable battery
- slim behind-the-ear design
- different color options
- connectivity with the Signia app
ReSound offers an app called Relief, which relieves tinnitus.
The app offers a mix of sound therapy, relaxation exercises, meditation, and counseling, while the audio streams to a person’s hearing aids.
Resound Relief compatible with six of the ReSound devices. It is free to download and available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The company says hearing aid users can customize their soundscape by choosing between their library of sounds and balancing them between both ears. This can mask the tinnitus and, over time, help people manage the symptom.
All Starkey hearing aids are equipped with tinnitus technology.
It works by providing a customizable soundscape that users or hearing care professionals can fine-tune, which can soothe and relieve the effects of tinnitus.
In addition to 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.
Other features of the Starkey Livio Edge AI include:
- Bluetooth compatibility
- brain and body tracking
- Rechargeable battery
- customizable programs and locations
- fall detection and alerts
- translation and transcription function
- available in behind-the-ear, in-canal, in-ear and in-canal receiver styles
The Oticon More hearing aid offers integrated management of tinnitus. It allows a person to customize and choose from various sounds such as ocean or white noise.
Individuals can choose which sounds they hear through the Oticon ON app, available for iPhone and Android. Users 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
- Rechargeable battery
- background sound improvement
- available in eight colors
the American Tinnitus Association says that nearly 50 million people in the United States suffer from tinnitus, making it one of the most common health problems in the country. About 20 million people suffer from chronic tinnitus, while 2 million find that tinnitus has a significant negative impact on their daily life.
Tinnitus can have an impact on mental and physical health. People with the symptom may following:
- mood swings
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- poor concentration
People may notice tinnitus sounds when the background noise is low, such as when they are in a quiet environment or trying to sleep.
the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders states that the following treatments can relieve tinnitus:
- Advice: Therapy, such as tinnitus retraining therapy, can help people learn to live with the symptom. Counseling can help people understand what causes tinnitus and change the way they respond to it.
- Portable sound generators: These devices adapt to the ear and emit soft noises, tones or music to help mask tinnitus.
- Table sound generators: These devices sit near the bed and emit sounds, such as waves, waterfalls, or rain, to help people with tinnitus fall asleep. Additionally, CDs, phone apps, and fans can also help mask tinnitus sounds.
- Acoustic neural stimulation: This technique uses a device the size of a palm and headphones to provide a wideband acoustic signal alongside the music. They aim to desensitize people to tinnitus.
- Cochlear implants: These hearing aids bypass the inner ear and directly stimulate the auditory nerve, which can help mask tinnitus.
- Antidepressants and other drugs: Certain prescription drugs can improve mood and help people with tinnitus fall asleep. A
Systematic review 2012have found that tricyclic antidepressants, such as trazodone, can decrease the intensity of tinnitus and improve quality of life.
Additionally, people may find meditation beneficial. A
The NIDCD recommends that people prevent tinnitus from getting worse by:
- keep volume low on devices
- moving away from sound sources, such as speakers
- wear hearing protection, such as ear plugs, if possible
A person should see a doctor or audiologist if their tinnitus:
- becomes regular or constant
- gets worse
- affects sleep or concentration
- affects mental health
- beats to their pulse
- looks like sounds in the ear that other people can hear
When to see a doctor immediately
A person should see a doctor immediately if they develop tinnitus after a head injury or if it occurs with sudden hearing loss, dizziness, and facial muscle weakness.
People with tinnitus can also suffer from hearing loss. Hearing aids can provide relief from tinnitus by amplifying background noises and masking tinnitus sounds.
Many hearing care brands have some form of tinnitus relief technology in their hearing aids. Some brands have the technology built into the hearing aids, others have an app, while some companies offer both.