Diagnosing the Causes of Tinnitus

January 26, 2015 by  
Filed under Tinnitus, Tinnitus Explained

How is Tinnitus diagnosed? If you suspect you may have Tinnitus it is important to get a proper diagnosis. At some point in their lives most people experience some brief symptoms of Tinnitus. However, it is recommended that you book and appointment with your doctor if:

  • The symptoms of Tinnitus last longer than a week
  • Tinnitus is negatively affecting your life
  • The sound is getting louder

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history and will want to examine you. You may be referred to a specialist such as an ENT consultant or audiologist in which case you are likely to have a number of tests to confirm if you have tinnitus. These can include:

  1. Hearing tests – there are a number of different types available and they differ for adults and children. People normally have a series of hearing tests
  2. Ear x-rays to determine of there is any damage to the ear bones
  3. Blood tests to check for infections and blood disorders
  4. Brain scans to reveal any potential tumours or nerve damage to the ears

There are a number of ways to determine if a person has Tinnitus. People usually undergo a series of hearing tests:

Some of the types of questions involved in hearing tests include:

  • Which ear is involved – right, left or both?
  • Is the noise is constant or intermittent?
  • Is it more pronounced at certain times of day?
  • Description of the sound
  • Do the symptoms seem exacerbated by anything?
  • Does tinnitus affect your ability to sleep? Work? Concentrate?
  • How annoying is it?

It is estimated that approximately 90 percent of people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. Therefore, hearing tests are essential before a proper diagnosis of tinnitus may be determined. It is crucial to get a diagnosis of tinnitus before embarking on any of the treatments.

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