What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus 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 five percent of Americans suffering from tinnitus that is moderately to significantly annoying, now is as good a time as any to visit your Cedar Park audiologist.
Unlike your primary care doctor, your Cedar Park audiologist is equipped with many tools and strategies to help tinnitus patients.
When you arrive at your doctor’s office, you will complete a tinnitus evaluation. 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, even though it may not be possible.
Evaluating a Tinnitus Patient
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 hyperacusis (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.
Types of Tinnitus
There are two types of tinnitus, subjective and objective.
- Subjective tinnitus (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 it is helpful for your tinnitus treatment to identify the cause of your tinnitus, this is not always possible. If your Cedar Park audiologist can’t identify a specific cause of your tinnitus, they will recommend other tinnitus treatment options.
If you are suffering from a ringing (or roaring, sizzling or clicking) in your ears, now is the time to finally do something about it. Contact your Cedar Park audiologist today.