How to Diagnose Tinnitus
Wow, that fly sure is annoying. If you are one of the almost 50 million people in San Diego and throughout the country that has just realized there is in fact no bee, you are probably suffering from tinnitus. So, How do you diagnose tinnitus?
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a ringing in your ears that is not present in real life. It does not have to be a ringing; it can be a hissing, buzzing, roaring, sizzling, clicking or other noise. It can also range in pitch and volume.
Once you have accepted that you have a problem, there is a little more work to be done before your audiologist can present you with a solution.
The first thing your audiologist will do is complete a tinnitus evaluation. Since tinnitus is a symptom of multiple health conditions, it can sometimes point to a more serious problem. This is why it is important to at least try to identify the cause of the symptoms.
There are several goals your doctor hopes to accomplish when they evaluate any tinnitus patient:
- Identify the underlying cause of your tinnitus symptoms.
- Determine if your tinnitus is subjective or objective.
- Evaluate how your tinnitus is affecting your speech reception.
- Assess whether you’re experiencing sound sensitivity.
- Pinpoint the frequency and loudness of the sound you’re hearing.
During a tinnitus evaluation, your audiologist will administer:
- An in-depth written and verbal interview.
- A complete physical examination of your auditory system.
- A pure tone and ultra-high frequency audiometry test.
- Speech reception and word recognition tests.
- An otoacoustic emissions test.
- Additional tests, studies and evaluations.
There are Two Types of Tinnitus, Subjective and Objective
Subjective tinnitus produces sound only you can hear; it is the most common type. This type of tinnitus is often caused by ototoxic medications or one of many audiological, neurological, metabolic and psychological conditions.
Objective tinnitus is much rarer and is often connected to underlying vascular or neurological problems.
While determining the cause of your tinnitus is important, if it cannot be pinpointed your audiologist can still create a customized tinnitus treatment plan. This plan often includes the use of white noise machine and lifestyle changes to make the bothersome noises less intrusive.
If you are finally ready to find relief from your tinnitus, contact your audiologist in San Diego today.