Do you hear a noise in your ears? If so, you’re not alone. Tinnitus is a condition characterized by constant or intermittent sounds such as ringing, whistling or buzzing. It is a common problem that is unrelated to age or hearing ability, such as whether or not the sufferer has a hearing loss.
Over 70% of hearing-impaired individuals report some degree of tinnitus without it necessarily posing a problem. Of that number, 10%* suffer from severe tinnitus causing stress and anxiety and adversely affecting their quality of life.
Although there is no cure for tinnitus, it is possible to minimize its effects through a combination of therapy and sound stimulation. In addition, tinnitus management programs have been developed to help tinnitus sufferers improve their quality of life.
The use of sound
In tinnitus management therapy, popular sounds include amplified sound from hearing aids, ambient noise and music. Using sound for therapeutic purposes helps minimize the contrast between tinnitus and ambient noise to provide relief and promote relaxation.
Many of us turn to music to relax and shake off our stress without giving it a second thought. In fact, studies show that carefully selected music, such as gentle music with a slow beat, can promote relaxation and concentration, slow down breathing and reduce blood pressure.
Zen tones can help improve quality of life
Drawing on the findings of studies on music, Widex has developed Zen, a listening program available with select Widex hearing aids. This revolutionary program plays a series of harmonious tones that promote relaxation, reduce stress, improve concentration and provide relief to tinnitus sufferers. These pleasant tones or the optional wide-band noise program are sound-therapy options that can be used as part of a tinnitus treatment plan.
Recent studies on the Zen program show that:
- 86% of patients describe the Zen tones as calming once they have been adjusted to individual preferences;
- 71% of patients report that their tinnitus symptoms are less bothersome after six months of daily use;
- 57% report being less bothered by tinnitus-related stress.