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How Do You Test for Tinnitus?

Woman with Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a very common health problem and it can cause major problems for sufferers of all ages. If you have it, finding a fast and efficient form of treatment in order to manage the situation is essential. Before that, though, you’ll need to confirm that what you’re experiencing is indeed a form of tinnitus. Frankly, only a professional audiologist can make it happen.

Here at Audiology Clinics of Puerto Rico, our audiologist can complete a number of tests to detect whether you have tinnitus and, if so, the best way to treat it.

Do you have tinnitus?

Tinnitus is described as hearing sounds even when they do not come from an external source. This means that you are hearing internal sounds from inside the body, which can range from ringing and buzzing to whistling and whirling. It’s likely that the symptoms are most noticeable when the surroundings are quiet, such as when you are trying to relax in the evening. In severe cases, it can feel debilitating.

The symptoms can occur unilaterally or in both ears and can occur either intermittently or on a continuing basis. There are other reasons for hearing those noises on a temporary basis, such as exposure to loud sounds such as fireworks.

Still, if you have experienced buzzing and ringing in the ears, tinnitus is a very likely answer, which is why you should book an appointment with the audiologist.

How will the audiologist test for tinnitus?

Given that tinnitus is actually a symptom of an underlying problem, the audiologist won’t simply want to confirm that you have it. It’s equally important to discover the root of those problems in order to find the best treatment.

Therefore, the audiologist may use several tests to diagnose tinnitus. The most common examinations are:

Tinnitus sound testing

Around nine out of 10 cases of tinnitus are subjective, which means that other people cannot hear the sounds that the sufferer is hearing. Therefore, the best thing that the audiologist can do is use a machine to play a number of recorded sounds commonly associated with tinnitus.

By matching the sounds that you hear through tinnitus with the sounds that are played on the machine, the audiologist will gain a far better insight into the type of tinnitus that you have. In turn, this should help develop a suitable treatment and management plan.

Hearing examination

In addition to the very specific hearing test relating to tinnitus sounds, the audiologist may ask you to sit a more traditional hearing test. Using tone testing and speech examinations will allow the audiologist to discover the range of sounds you can detect and whether tinnitus impacts this.

The truth of the matter is that tinnitus is strongly linked to hearing loss, not least because tinnitus is often caused by damage to the inner ear. Therefore, treating hearing loss can often reduce the presence of tinnitus too, which is why the hearing examination is so vital.

Physical inspections

Tinnitus can be caused – or at least exacerbated – by wax and infections. Inspecting the ear with an otoscope gives the audiologist a chance to identify these issues or physical abnormalities that may be causing the buzzing and ticking to surface.

Due to the nature of tinnitus being attributed to an underlying issue, you may be asked to move your eyes and jaw while the audiologist may need to inspect the head, neck and torso too. This can either confirm an issue or rule it out.

Imaging testing

Depending on the reason for your tinnitus, it may be advised that you see a doctor for an MRI or CT scan. This is something the audiologist will refer you for, which is another reason to see this professional if you are experiencing the symptoms.

The likelihood of needing these extra scans is quite small while even then it doesn’t necessarily need to get the alarm bells ringing. Either way, the audiologist will help you through the process until tinnitus has been diagnosed and treated in the right manner.

Book your appointment today!

Ultimately, then, anybody suffering from tinnitus should see an audiologist right away. Audiology Clinics of Puerto Rico can perform the various tests needed to diagnose tinnitus and provide the best treatment – whether it be hearing aids, sound therapy or another fast and efficient solution.

To book an appointment with an audiologist, give us a call today at (787) 882-8585 for our Aguadilla office and (787) 834-0660 for the Mayaguez practice. Suffering in silence for even a second longer simply isn’t an option.