Can Hearing Aids Cause Tinnitus: Negative Side Effects

Tinnitus is a common problem affecting millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by a ringing or buzzing sound in one or both ears and can be challenging. Many people wonder if wearing hearing aids could worsen tinnitus, as some believe these devices might cause it in the first place.

old man with hearing aids

Can hearing aids cause tinnitus? The answer is not straightforward; while there are certain cases where hearing aids may contribute to tinnitus, they don’t necessarily cause it on their own.

In some cases, hearing aids may benefit those suffering from tinnitus. It is because they help reduce the amount of background noise that can exacerbate tinnitus symptoms.

By providing amplification, hearing aids can make it easier for people with tinnitus to focus on conversations and other sounds instead of just their internal ringing.

Additionally, if an underlying cause of the tinnitus is related to hearing loss, hearing aids may also help improve speech understanding while reducing the perceived loudness of the tinnitus itself. Here is an article on whether or not you can wear hearing aids if you have tinnitus.

However, there are also specific scenarios where using hearing aids could potentially make tinnitus worse. For instance, if someone has been exposed to a loud sound and then wears a hearing aid shortly afterward, it may amplify the ringing in their ears. Additionally, if someone uses a hearing aid that is too powerful for them or has an ill-fitting earpiece, they could experience increased tinnitus symptoms.

This article will discuss how hearing aids can affect tinnitus and what you should do if your device worsens your symptoms.

Tinnitus and hearing aid problems

The issue can be complex, so you must speak with a hearing professional if you are experiencing any issues. They will be able to assess your situation and provide the best advice on managing your tinnitus symptoms while using a hearing aid.

In some cases, they may recommend adjusting or changing your device’s settings to reduce the perceived loudness of your tinnitus.

It is also essential to maintain good listening hygiene when wearing hearing aids, as this will help minimize additional exposure to noise that could worsen existing tinnitus symptoms.

This means avoiding loud noises whenever possible and always wearing earplugs or other protective gear when participating in activities with potential exposure to sound levels.

Can you wear hearing aids if you have tinnitus?

Yes, it is possible to wear hearing aids if you have tinnitus. Many people find that using a hearing aid can help reduce tinnitus symptoms by amplifying external sounds and providing a distraction from the ringing in their ears. Read Here: Can Hearing Aids Stop Tinnitus?

It’s also important to remember that while wearing a hearing aid may help reduce tinnitus symptoms for some people, it isn’t necessarily an appropriate solution and won’t cure the condition altogether.

Hearing aids may be a beneficial option for some people suffering from tinnitus. However, Practicing good listening hygiene when wearing them would be wise—significantly, speaking to an audiologist before making any decisions about wearing a hearing aid and ensuring that all settings are adjustable not to aggravate existing symptoms.

Can cheap hearing aids damage your ears?

No, cheap hearing aids are not necessarily damaging to your ears. However, it is vital to ensure that the device fits properly and is not too powerful for a particular level of hearing loss. If a hearing aid is too powerful or has an ill-fitting earpiece, there is a risk that it could worsen existing tinnitus symptoms or even cause damage to the ear itself.

One can avoid the potential damage to the ears by consulting with an audiologist before purchasing any hearing aid to determine the best model for your needs. It is always important to follow instructions provided by the manufacturer when using the device to minimize potential harm. Also Read: How Do I know If My Ear Wax Build Up Is Causing My Tinnitus?

Is there a downside to wearing hearing aids?

The potential downside of wearing hearing aids is that they can be uncomfortable and irritating, particularly for those with tinnitus symptoms. Additionally, many people find that the sound of their voice is amplified when wearing hearing aids which can be very distracting and uncomfortable.

While most hearing aid models are designed to reduce background noise to improve clarity, they may work better in environments with a lot of noise or interference. Finally, it is crucial to understand that hearing aids cannot cure tinnitus and may worsen existing symptoms if misused. 

Additionally, there may be some difficulty in adjusting the settings on a hearing aid if hearing loss is more severe or if one does not fit the device properly. Lastly, given their size, they may also be visible to others when worn.

Overall, the benefits of using a hearing aid far outweigh the potential downsides, as many people find that these devices help them communicate better and improve their overall quality of life. However, it is always essential to consult an audiologist before purchasing any hearing aid to determine which model best suits your needs.

What precautions should you take when using hearing aids?

When using hearing aids, it is vital to take a few precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of your ears. First, always ensure that the device fits properly and is not too powerful for a particular level of hearing loss.

When wearing hearing aids, it is crucial to practice good listening hygiene by avoiding loud noises and environments with excessive noise or interference. Consider consulting an audiologist before adjusting any settings on the hearing aid to avoid potential damage or discomfort.

What are the side effects of a hearing aid?

The most common side effect of wearing a hearing aid is that it causes temporary discomfort. The discomfort includes pressure in the ears, irritation, or even itching. Additionally, some people may experience feedback (a whistling sound) when using their hearing aid due to an ill-fitting earpiece or improper settings.

Finally, it is essential to note that while hearing aids are designed to improve clarity and reduce background noise, they may not work well in environments with significant noise and interference levels. Read: How To Stop Tinnitus Cause By Sinus?

When should you not wear hearing aids?

It is important not to wear hearing aids if you are experiencing any discomfort or irritation. Additionally, it is best to avoid wearing hearing aids in loud environments as this can cause further damage to the ears. Lastly, it is wise not to use hearing aids while swimming or showering, as moisture can damage the device and cause permanent damage.

Overall, it is essential to take proper precautions when wearing any hearing aid to ensure the safety and well-being of your ears.

When should you seek medical attention?

If you are experiencing persistent pain or discomfort while using a hearing aid, have trouble adjusting the settings, or experiencing any feedback, it is best to consult an ear specialist or audiologist immediately. Notice any changes in your hearing or tinnitus symptoms after using a hearing aid? It may be time to seek medical attention, indicating a more severe condition.


Although hearing aids can be a great way to improve communication, it is crucial to be aware of their potential side effects. Additionally, it is always best to speak with an audiologist before purchasing or adjusting any settings on a hearing aid to ensure that they fit correctly and are not too powerful for your hearing loss. When following these precautions, wearing a hearing aid can help significantly improve communication and overall quality of life.

Despite potential side effects, hearing aids can be an effective way to improve communication and reduce the impact of tinnitus.

Additionally, practicing good listening hygiene and avoiding boisterous environments when using a hearing aid is crucial. With proper use and care, these devices can greatly benefit those struggling with tinnitus and may even reduce its severity over time.


  • Kathie Miller

    Kathie Miller has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best share evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public eye. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible, and engaging to our readers.

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