Tinnitus can manifest as an acute symptom lasting just a few days, or a chronic or recurring symptom lasting weeks, months or years. It is often described as a ringing in the ears, but is also reported to sound like hissing, buzzing, roaring, sizzling, clicking or other noise.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from tinnitus, it’s a great idea to visit a hearing specialist for an evaluation. Our doctors of audiology are equipped with many tools and strategies to help patients with tinnitus, but first, we need to assess your condition.
What to Expect During a Tinnitus Evaluation
There are several goals we hope to accomplish when we evaluate a tinnitus patient:
- Investigate 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 hyperacusis (sound sensitivity).
- Assess the frequency and loudness of the sound you’re hearing.
Tinnitus is a symptom of a wide range of health conditions and it can occasionally point to a more serious problem that needs professional medical attention. This is why trying to identify a cause is important.
Subjective tinnitus – meaning tinnitus only you can hear – is much more common and is often caused by ototoxic medications or one of many audiological, neurological, metabolic and psychological conditions. Objective tinnitus is much rarer and is often tied to underlying vascular or neurological problems.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are many treatment options.
During a tinnitus evaluation, an audiologist will administer:
- * An in-depth written and verbal interview.
- * A complete audiological evaluation.
- * A pure tone and bone conduction audiometry test.
- * Speech in noise testing.
- * Additional tests may include:
- – Pitch matching
- – Loudness matching
- – Minimal masking level