March 5, 2024

Do Hearing Aids Help with Tinnitus?

Open ear hearing aids placed on a table next to a computer and a smartphone, illustrating a modern hearing technology setup.

Written by

Michael Piskosz

Audiologist & Tinnitus Specialist

Reviewed by

Dr. Fabrice Bardy

Audiologist & Neuroscientist

Tinnitus, often characterized by a ringing or buzzing in the ears, can be a distressing condition, impacting daily life and well-being. For many, the question arises: Can hearing aids provide relief? 

Hearing aids have emerged as an important tool in the management of tinnitus, offering not just an amplification of external sounds but also a pathway to relief for those affected by the persistent ringing or buzzing in their ears. By providing sound enrichment and improving overall hearing, these devices can make tinnitus less noticeable and, in many cases, less distressing. This approach to tinnitus management leverages the brain's natural ability to focus on external, meaningful sounds over internal noise, providing a sense of relief and improved quality of life for sufferers. As technology advances, hearing aids equipped with specialized tinnitus management features, such as sound therapy and customizable sound settings, are becoming increasingly integral in the holistic treatment of tinnitus. A recent scoping review found that 68% of studies showed positive results when using hearing aids in tinnitus patients.

The role of hearing aids extends beyond mere sound amplification; they are a critical component in the neuroplasticity process, aiding in the retraining of the brain to desensitize and focus less on tinnitus. With the advent of hearing aids equipped with tinnitus masking features and tailored sound therapies, individuals with tinnitus now have access to a more personalized and effective management strategy, resulting in enhanced daily functioning and overall well-being. This article delves into the relationship between hearing loss and tinnitus, the function of hearing aids, and how they can potentially offer respite from tinnitus symptoms.

Understanding the Link: Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

Hearing loss and tinnitus frequently coexist, suggesting a robust relationship between the two conditions. Tinnitus can often be a symptom of underlying hearing loss, where the brain attempts to compensate for the lack of external sound by generating its own. This relationship underscores the importance of early detection and management of hearing loss to potentially mitigate the onset or severity of tinnitus. By delving into the link between these two conditions, individuals can gain valuable insights into preventive measures and treatment options, helping to improve hearing health and quality of life.

Further exploring the connection between hearing loss and tinnitus reveals the intricate workings of the auditory system. When hearing loss occurs, certain frequencies of sound may no longer be perceived, leading the brain to fill these 'gaps' with phantom sounds, resulting in tinnitus. This phenomenon highlights the brain's remarkable plasticity but also its vulnerability to auditory disruptions. Understanding this physiological interplay not only emphasizes the need for comprehensive auditory health strategies but also opens avenues for innovative treatments that address the root causes of these conditions, rather than just their symptoms. Consequently, a holistic approach to auditory wellness, encompassing both prevention and intervention, becomes crucial in managing and alleviating the impacts of hearing loss and tinnitus.

Hearing loss and tinnitus are often related, with over 70% of people experiencing tinnitus also reporting hearing loss.

What you can do:

  • Early Assessment: Seek a professional hearing evaluation from an audiologist to determine if hearing loss is present alongside tinnitus. 
  • Protect Your Hearing: Minimize exposure to loud noises to prevent further hearing damage.
  • Stay Informed: Educate yourself on how hearing rehabilitation can reduce tinnitus symptoms.

The Role of Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are primarily designed to amplify external sounds, improving hearing ability for those with hearing loss. Hearing aids not only amplify sounds, making communication clearer and more accessible, but they also improve the quality of life for individuals affected by tinnitus. By understanding the link between effective hearing aid use and overall health, individuals can embrace a world of enriched interactions, reduced auditory fatigue, and decreased tinnitus distress leading to significant improvements in social engagement, mental well-being, and daily functioning. By enhancing the ambient sound environment, hearing aids can indirectly lower the perception of tinnitus, by acting as sound therapy.

Furthermore, hearing aids have evolved to become sophisticated devices that can be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the user, offering features such as directional microphones, noise reduction, and wireless connectivity to other devices. This customization allows for a more natural listening experience, enabling users to engage more fully in conversations and social activities, even in challenging auditory environments. The psychological benefits of this enhanced communication cannot be overstated; it fosters a sense of inclusion and belonging, reduces feelings of isolation, and boosts confidence in social settings. As such, hearing aids play a crucial role not just in sound amplification, but in facilitating a deeper connection with the world and the people around us, underscoring their importance in the broader context of hearing health, tinnitus, and overall wellness.

Hearing aids serve to amplify external sounds, which can, in turn, provide relief from tinnitus.

What you can do:

  • Personalized Fitting: Ensure your hearing aids are correctly fitted and programmed by an audiologist or hearing healthcare professional.
  • Consistent Use: Wear hearing aids regularly to promote auditory stimulation and to help your brain’s reduction of the tinnitus sound. 
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your hearing aids in optimal condition through regular cleaning and servicing.

Hearing Aids for Tinnitus Relief

While hearing aids are not a cure for tinnitus they can play a crucial role in managing symptoms. By amplifying background sounds and noise, hearing aids can act as sound therapy, making tinnitus less noticeable, and providing a form of relief for many individuals. Using hearing aids not only enhances auditory function but also contributes to a better quality of life and greater social connections. This highlights the importance of considering hearing aids as a viable solution for managing tinnitus symptoms effectively, as they can help with focus, engagement, and connecting to the things that matter most to you. 

Additionally, the integration of hearing aids with digital technology and apps provides users with greater control over their auditory environment, enabling them to fine-tune settings according to different social situations and personal preferences. This level of customization not only aids in tinnitus management but also enhances the overall user experience, making hearing aids a multifaceted tool in the pursuit of better hearing health and tinnitus relief. As research continues to evolve, the potential of hearing aids in providing relief for individuals with tinnitus becomes increasingly evident, making it a topic worth exploring for anyone who struggles with both hearing loss and tinnitus.

Hearing aids can offer significant relief from tinnitus by giving access to sound therapy features.

What you can do:

  • Sound Therapy Integration: Choose hearing aids with built-in sound therapy features for added tinnitus relief.
  • Volume Control: Adjust the volume settings to ensure external sounds are comfortably masking tinnitus without being overwhelming or fully masking the tinnitus.
  • Trial and Adaptation: Give yourself time to adapt to hearing aids, as the relief from tinnitus may gradually improve with continued use. This can often take a few weeks or months for the average person.

Combating Auditory Fatigue

Tinnitus and hearing loss can lead to auditory fatigue, where listening and interpreting sounds become mentally and physically exhausting. Auditory fatigue is a state of increased listening effort and reduced auditory processing efficiency that can significantly impact one's quality of life, leading to stress, decreased productivity, and social withdrawal. By understanding this link, individuals can adopt effective strategies to combat auditory fatigue, such as regular hearing breaks, the use of hearing protection in noisy environments, and utilizing proper listening strategies. Addressing auditory fatigue not only enhances auditory health but also contributes to overall mental and physical well-being, allowing for a more balanced and fulfilling life. Hearing aids can also alleviate this fatigue by making sounds clearer and less taxing to process.

By improving sound clarity, hearing aids can reduce auditory fatigue, making communication easier and less tiring.

What you can do:

  • Break Periods: In the early days of use, take short breaks from wearing hearing aids to prevent overstimulation.
  • Listening Strategies: Employ effective communication strategies to reduce the cognitive load during conversations.
  • Environmental Awareness: Use hearing aids to stay aware of your acoustic environment, reducing the strain of deciphering sounds.

Achieving All-Day Tinnitus Relief

For continuous tinnitus management, hearing aids can be part of a broader holistic approach that encompasses sound therapy, stress reduction techniques, and personalized lifestyle adjustments to mitigate the persistent ringing or buzzing associated with tinnitus. Stress reduction techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness and deep breathing exercises have been shown to alleviate stress and anxiety that may be caused by tinnitus. In addition, lifestyle adjustments, such as eating a healthy diet, staying socially engaged and incorporating daily light exercise into your routine are also great ways to shift energy from your mind into your body.

By integrating these targeted interventions, individuals can navigate their day with greater ease, experiencing significant reductions in tinnitus symptoms and a renewed sense of control over their auditory health. This comprehensive strategy not only alleviates the immediate discomfort of tinnitus but also fosters long-term well-being.

A comprehensive approach, including the use of hearing aids, can contribute to all-day tinnitus relief.

What you can do:

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Incorporate stress-reduction techniques and a healthy lifestyle to complement the benefits of hearing aids.
  • MindEar: Engage with MindEar tinnitus specialists for tinnitus management guidance and personalized advice.
  • Stay Active/Hobbies: Engaging in enjoyable activities and hobbies can improve motivation, a sense of purpose, and overall well-being.


Hearing aids can be a valuable tool in the management of tinnitus, especially for those who have hearing loss.

By amplifying external sounds, they can reduce the focus on tinnitus, alleviate auditory fatigue, and contribute to a more comfortable daily listening experience. 

Modern hearing aids also give access to sound therapy features which are important to induce habituation for people experiencing tinnitus.

Get more information and find out if hearing aids are right for you by taking your Tinnitus Assessment.

What's Next?

Whether you've recently started experiencing tinnitus or have been dealing with it for a long time, we're committed to helping you find relief and live your best life. The first step on your journey to relief is to take the Tinnitus Assessment. This will help us understand your specific needs and recommend a treatment option that is evidence-based and tailored for you. There is hope, and we're here to guide you.

Find the Tinnitus Treatment that works for you

Take the Tinnitus Assessment