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The Hear-Ring Lab

Assessment & Diagnosis

What can I expect from an appointment for my tinnitus?

  • A team of health care professionals may take part in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of your tinnitus. These professionals can include, but are not limited to:
    • Certified Audiologists
      • Professionals who hold licensure and certification from the state and governing body to ensure they uphold the standards of the profession
    • Otolaryngologists
      • Also known as ENT’s or Ear, Nose and Throat doctors
    • Primary Care Physician
      • May refer you to the other specialists
  • Your appointment will start by obtaining a comprehensive health form to tell your provider about your past and current medical history, any medications you have and/or continue to use, and your aural health and risk factors, such as occupation and family history.
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • There are a number of questionnaires that can also be used for the initial evaluation and later management options for your tinnitus. Some questions that may be asked about your tinnitus include:
    • Ear specificity
      • Is the noise bilateral or unilateral? If it is only one ear, which ear is it?
    • Is the noise continuous or irregular?
    • Describe the noise. Is it a hissing, buzzing, ringing, music, heartbeat, etc.?
    • What is the pitch of your tinnitus? Does it ever change?
    • How loud or soft is the tinnitus? Does it ever change?
    • Does anything make the tinnitus better or worse? Do you know any triggers for the tinnitus?
    • Are you able to ignore the tinnitus or is it highly bothersome?
  • The diagnosis of tinnitus is geared towards finding the underlying cause. An aural examination will most likely take place. This exam can include an otoscopy to check for ear wax and audiometric testing to ensure there is no underlying hearing loss. If abnormal results are found, further testing and referrals for items such as CT scans may follow.
  • After a comprehensive assessment occurs and a diagnosis is given, there will be a discussion of management and treatment options. v
  • Note: If the health care provider you are seeking treatment from says there are no options to help you manage your tinnitus, seek help from another professional. Your provider should want to help deliver the products, treatments, services and practices that can help reduce the severity of your tinnitus and allow you to live a more comfortable and productive life. 2

vATA. (n.d.). Patient Roadmap. Retrieved July 28, 2016, from http://www.ata.or/managing-your-tinnitus/patient-roadmap

2 ASHA. (n.d.). Tinnitus Management. Retrieved July 28, 2016, from http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/tinnitus-management/
NYU Langone. (n.d.). Tinnitus in Adults. Retrieved July 28, 2016, from http://nyulangone.org/conditions/tinnitus-in-adults