Diagnosing the Causes of Tinnitus
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:
- 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
- Ear x-rays to determine of there is any damage to the ear bones
- Blood tests to check for infections and blood disorders
- 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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