How tinnitus is diagnosed?

However, to treat your symptoms, your doctor. Usually, your doctor will diagnose tinnitus based on your symptoms alone.

How tinnitus is diagnosed?

However, to treat your symptoms, your doctor. Usually, your doctor will diagnose tinnitus based on your symptoms alone. However, to treat symptoms, the doctor will also try to identify if the tinnitus is caused by another underlying condition. Sometimes you can't find a cause.

As part of the test, you'll sit in a soundproofed room with headphones through which specific sounds will be played in one ear at a time. You will be asked to indicate when you can hear the sound and your results will be compared with the results considered typical for your age. This can help rule out or identify possible causes of tinnitus. In addition to routine audiometry of pure tone and speech, a series of audiological tests can help assess the health and functioning of the middle ear, inner ear, and auditory pathway.

They may include tympanometry, otoacoustic emissions, electrocochleography, auditory brainstem responses, and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials. Doctors can't detect most types of tinnitus. One exception is objective tinnitus, a rare type that a doctor can hear through a stethoscope or recording device. Because of this, doctors often base the clinical diagnosis of tinnitus on a person's description of noise and how it affects their life.

Some people consider tinnitus to be a mild annoyance that is easily ignored, but others find it so annoying that even the simplest tasks are difficult. If the source of the problem remains unclear, you may be referred to an otologist or an otolaryngologist (both ear specialists) or an audiologist (a hearing specialist) for hearing and nerve tests. As part of the exam, you may have a hearing test called an audiogram. An imaging technique, such as an MRI or CT scan, may also be recommended to reveal any structural problems.

Learn more about tinnitus and hearing loss. The diagnosis of tinnitus includes a complete medical history and physical exam. Your healthcare provider may request an audiological evaluation. Depending on the suspected cause of tinnitus, other tests may be needed.

Objective tinnitus is usually caused by disorders affecting blood vessels (vascular system) or muscles (muscular system). Common hearing conditions that can cause tinnitus are otitis media (a middle ear infection), otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in the middle ear), sudden sensorineural hearing loss (sudden deafness), Ménière's disease, noise-induced hearing loss, and presbycusis (age-related hearing loss). Another way to control tinnitus symptoms is to ask the patient to move in different ways and see if the tinnitus symptoms change. Subjective tinnitus is very common and is defined as a sound that is only audible to the person with tinnitus.

Lidocaine, a medication used to treat certain types of abnormal heart rhythms, has been shown to relieve tinnitus in some people, but must be given intravenously or into the middle ear to be effective. To determine what underlying medical condition may be causing your tinnitus, your doctor will perform a general physical exam, including a careful examination of your ears. You should also avoid medications that may cause tinnitus symptoms to return and schedule regular hearing tests with your doctor to quickly detect any problems with the structure of the inner and middle ear. Tinnitus is a common condition characterized by the perception or sensation of sound, although there is no identifiable external source for the sound.

Some professionals believe that tinnitus may be caused by a problem with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the area where the jaw bone meets the head, just in front of the ear. For example, abnormalities affecting the carotid artery, the main artery that serves the brain, may be associated with pulsatile tinnitus. Pulsatile tinnitus is usually caused by abnormalities or disorders affecting blood vessels (vascular disorders), especially blood vessels near or around the ears. Most people with subjective tinnitus have a hearing loss that shows up on a standard clinical audiogram.

The fact that tinnitus is a symptom of another underlying condition and not a diagnosis in and of itself cannot be overstated. Tinnitus not only affects hearing, but it can also cause a cascade of negative mental, cognitive and physical consequences. Objective tinnitus, which is much less common, is defined as a sound that comes from an “objective source”, such as a mechanical defect or a specific sound source, and that can be heard by an outside observer under favorable conditions. This measurement reports on the viability of sound therapy, masking and hearing aids as potential treatments for tinnitus.

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