Have we found relief for patients with Tinnitus?
Traditionally classified by whether it could be heard by the clinician, tinnitus is a constant or intermittent sound hear in the ears and/or head that does not have an outside source. The sound is often described as ringing, humming, buzzing or whooshing.
Objective tinnitus, for example muscle spasms or vascular tumours, can be detected via the human ears and/or stethoscope however represents less than 1% of cases. Subjective tinnitus makes up for 99% of all tinnitus cases and is often a symptom of an underlying cause. The causes are multifactorial and can include but not excluded to:
Use of ototoxic medications
Head and neck concerns
Psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression
Tinnitus can often result in feelings of irritability, frustration, withdrawal from social interactions and feelings of loneliness and isolation.
An estimated 10-15% of the population has subjective tinnitus, however most cases go untreated. The main reasons identified include a lack of information, the fact that most people are unaware of who to see for their complaints and who will assist them (1). Hearing loss accounts for 85% of this population and therefore amplification has proven a successful treatment option for tinnitus suffers with hearing loss. These patients often report partial or total relief of their tinnitus.
Researchers have attributed the relief of tinnitus symptoms using amplification to a number of possible reasons (2):
- A reduction of communicative difficulties caused by hearing loss but attributed to tinnitus
- Less social isolation
- Reduce stress and fatigue from improve listening effort
- Stimulate deprived auditory system
- Divert attention from tinnitus
- Masking effect
Daily Wear & Extended Wear Solutions
Daily wear hearing aids have provided tinnitus relief to suffers for years. These are devices worn by patients throughout the day and removed when sleeping and exposed to water/sweat. Dissimilar to daily wear hearing aids, Lyric, is an extended-wear invisible hearing device that is comfortably placed close to the ear drum by a trained hearing professional. The devices remain in the ear 24/7 and can be worn for months at a time with no maintenance or daily hassles such as changing batteries.
Lyric uses the ear’s natural anatomy to funnel sound to the eardrum. This placement results in a reduction in background noise, allowing it to provide an exceptional and natural sound quality.
Research published in 2018, indicates Lyric devices:
1. Reduce tinnitus annoyance faster than daily wear hearing aids
2. They improve sleep quality and is a suitable choice as part of a tinnitus management program for patients with hearing loss (3).
The success of Lyric for tinnitus suffers is attributed to both its placement in the ear canal and also the full-time 24/7 access to sound. Patients with tinnitus often report the highest awareness of this sound when trying to sleep. As these devices remain in the ear, they are constantly receiving auditory stimulation and therefore reduced tinnitus irritation.
Victorian Hearing is an award-winning hearing care practice, nationally recognised as a Premier Elite Lyric provider and one of Australia’s leading Lyric audiology clinics. All Victorian Hearing audiologists are professionally trained and certified to fit Lyric and thoroughly assess candidacy, suitability and ongoing management of Lyric.
For patients with Tinnitus/hearing loss, Victorian Hearing recommend a comprehensive hearing assessment and offer the opopportunity to trial Lyric extended wear hearing devices.
Complete an online GP/Patient hearing referral here.
Click here for the Lyric Tinnitus Fact Sheet.
1- Hoffman, H. and Reed, G. (2004) Epidemiology of tinnitus. In: Tinnitus: Theory and Management. Lewiston, NY: BC Decker Inc., 16–41.
2- Kochkin,S., Tyler, R. and Bjorn, J. (2011). The prevalence of tinnitus in united states and self-reported efficacy of various treatment. Hearing Review, 18(12), 10-27
3- Power D. (2018) Is Lyric an effective option for tinnitus? Investigating the benefits of a hearing aid that can be worn 24/7 (submitted for peer review publication.)