One of the first things to consider is whether to fit a hearing aid or aids, or improve or extend an existing fitting. Rather smaller than usual degrees of hearing loss can usefully be aided and thereby help the tinnitus also, especially if explained to the patient that it is a treatment for the tinnitus as well.
To this end, the patient's acoustic environment should also be enriched, particularly at the quietest times, by addition of background noise at a level that becomes clearly audible when amplified by the hearing aid. Where possible and appropriate, fittings should be non-occluding and binaural. Poor hearing-aid fittings can lead to frustration, loudness discomfort and anxiety, and thus are liable to make tinnitus worse.