Tinnitus is derived from the latin term for "ringing" and is typically explained as hearing a ringing or some other sound inside of the head.
Tinnitus can be a symptom of many different conditions including neurological damage, ear infections, head trauma and noise damage, both work place, recreational and more and more frequently by listening to loud music etc. The most common type of tinnitus is the result of a nerve related, or sensorineural hearing loss. This is the most common type of hearing loss requiring a hearing aid or hearing aids to correct.
The cochlea is filled with thousands of tiny hairs called cilia. These hairs get triggered by sounds as they go through the mechanical hearing process. Once the hairs are triggered, or moving, they send an electrical impulse into the brain. The brain then turns this impulse into speech, music and other sounds.
Hearing based tinnitus can be when the tiny cilia send sounds into the brain even when no sounds are present. The damaged cilia typically do this in the higher pitches causing tinnitus to sound like high pitched ringing. Sometimes the tinnitus can combine many different pitches, creating more of a buzzing sound.
Over the past 20 years working in both hearing clinics and hospital settings we have seen a large number of clients suffering with tinnitus, just like our favourite actor Mr. William Shatner in the video above.
In this time we have fit hearing aids on many different patients who have been suffering from tinnitus. These were primarily clients who had both a sensorineural , or nerve based, hearing loss as well as tinnitus. Of these approximately 8 out of ten had significant relief from their tinnitus. They said they either didn't hear or had a reduction in the level of the ringing in their ears.
Approximately 4 of the 8 people had anywhere from an hour to up to 72 hours of relief after they removed their hearing aids too. The other 4 people had the tinnitus come back fully immediately.
If you have a hearing related tinnitus then try the SmartAid Line of hearing instruments. They just might give you some relief from your tinnitus.
For more resources regarding tinnitus visit the American Tinnitus Association.