Hearing Aids

Discussion in 'Dr. Stephen Nagler (Archived Answers)' started by MattK, Apr 15, 2014.

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    1. MattK

      MattK Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2/13/2014
      Dr Nagler,

      I'm sure this has been addressed before. But I was just wondering, since most experts believe tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss, then why don't hearing aids help? I know human hearing is very complex and we don't understand everything. And I'm a simple minded guy. So in my simple mind, it seems like we should be able to calibrate a hearing aid to make up for the lost frequencies, which then in turn tells the brain to knock it off.

      I know there probably isn't a definite answer, but your educated guess would be most appreciated :)
       
    2. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      Hearing aids can be helpful for individuals with tinnitus and significant hearing loss by better enabling their access to environmental that can serve to mask it.

      But in order for the type of mechanism you describe to even remotely play a role, the technology would have to address not just the gross frequency ranges that hearing aids can address, but also the microscopic irregularities in hair cell patterns and their tonotopic representation in the brain. And even that would not address the self-reinforcing vicious circles within the brain that make chronic clinically significant bothersome tinnitus bothersome in the first place.

      Hope this helps more than confuses.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
       

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