Every hearing instrument has one or more microphones which pick up sound from the environment. This acoustic signal is transformed to an electrical signal. It's then amplified and adapted according to the individual's hearing loss. The receiver (or "loudspeaker") reconverts the electrical signal into an acoustic signal which is directed down the ear canal.

A French study found that just one in 123 tinnitus patients suffered no hearing loss. In the majority of cases, a connection was found between the nature of the patient's hearing loss and how they experienced the ringing in their ears.

The researchers and audiologists examined the degree of hearing loss in the tinnitus patients and the reasons for their hearing loss. The results were collated with the patients’ descriptions of how they experienced their tinnitus.

The results indicated that patients suffering from age or noise-related hearing loss generally experience their tinnitus as a constant high-pitched sound. Patients whose hearing loss was caused by Ménières disease or similar syndromes experienced their tinnitus as a varied and low hum.

Relations were also found between the degree of hearing loss and the frequencies of low hearing. The frequency of the tinnitus noise as described by the study participants was most often directly related to the measured frequencies of their hearing loss. The loudness of the experienced tinnitus also corresponded to the degree of hearing loss.

The researchers believe that various measurements of the patients’ hearing may provide a simple and indirect test on which an evaluation of tinnitus levels may be based. In the treatment of tinnitus, it is particularly important to be able to record changes in the patient’s experience of his or her tinnitus.

(Information provided by Characteristics of Tinnitus and Etiology of Associated Hearing Loss: A Study of 123 Patients, International Tinnitus Journal, 2002)


About Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a ringing, humming, buzzing sound in the ear, without an external stimulus. While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are tinnitus treatment techniques and new technologies that can help ease your symptoms. At Manatee Ear Center, we offer a tinnitus treatment program, incorporating Oticon OPN instruments and counseling services, to help ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, contact us. We've provided high-quality hearing aids and audiology services to our patients in Manatee and Sarasota County, Florida since 1977.

If you have hearing loss in both ears, and if both ears can benefit from hearing aids, then it's more likely that you will hear much better with two hearing aids.

It's important to realize that there are no "normal" animals born with only one ear. Animals - and humans - have two ears because we need two ears. If you try to amplify sound in only one ear, you should not expect to hear very well. Even the best hearing aids will sound "flat" or "dull" if worn in only one ear.

Yes, you do need both ears! Ears act like radar antenna to register acoustic signals coming from multiple directions.

The complex structures of each ear process the received signals and pass them to the brain which interprets our acoustic environment. For example, the sound of an approaching truck: the nearest ear receives the sound slightly earlier than the other ear and at a slightly louder volume. Using the finely processed acoustic information from each ear, the brain calculates the direction of the truck's approach and let's you know approximately how close the vehicle is.

Some of the advantages of two properly functioning ears (Information provided by Phonak):

  • Excellent sound localization skills
  • Much easier speech understanding in noisy situations
  • The richest sound quality
  • An accurate judgment of loudness

6 Questions to Ask Yourself for a Basic Hearing Test

If you or others believe that you are experiencing hearing loss, test yourself before you visit our hearing care center. Answer the following questions to check your ability to hear properly.

  • Do people seem to mumble or speak in a softer voice than they use to?
  • Do you sometimes miss key words in a sentence, or frequently need to ask people to repeat themselves?
  • When you are in a group or in a crowded restaurant is it difficult for you to follow the conversation?
  • When you are together with other people, does background noise bother you?
  • Do you often need to turn up the volume on your TV or radio?
  • Has someone close to you mentioned that you might have a problem with your hearing?

If you answered "yes" to three or more of those questions, we encourage you to schedule an appointment for free hearing testing at Manatee Ear Center in Bradenton, Florida.


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