Tinnitus Testing

How to diagnose tinnitus?

If you are experiencing hearing discomfort, then the best thing to do is to consult your physician right away to begin diagnostic testing. The doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination and will obtain your past medical as well as past surgical history. There are also tests that need to be done in order to confirm the presence of tinnitus. Physical test includes checking the ears for presence of ear wax, hair, or even the possibility of having a foreign object trapped inside the ears. The quality and intensity of the noise should also be assessed. Diagnostic tests will also be conducted such as:

Professional Tinnitus Testing

The exact cause of tinnitus is still unknown up to this time. So, to confirm whether you are really suffering from tinnitus or not, you need to see your doctor. The physician will conduct various tests to diagnose tinnitus and some of these professional diagnostic tests are the following:

X-rays/MRI/CT Scan

The doctor will order an x-ray of the head to find out whether there are structural damages in the ear. Most of the time, it is the existing structural problem in the ear that causes tinnitus.  Identifying any structural problems will allow for a possible surgical plan of action to correct this condition and reduce or eliminate the constant ear ringing.

ABR (Auditory brainstem response)

Through this test, you will be able to detect abnormalities in a normal person suffering from tinnitus. This is usually conducted to diagnose tinnitus secondary to tumor to the 8th nerve. Aside from auditory brainstem response, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain can also be done. The only problem seen with MRI is that it is three times more expensive than ABR.

Audiogram/Hearing acuity test

It measures the ability of a person to hear and recognize sounds, which can be very helpful in diagnosing tinnitus. Most hearing loss is associated with ringing of the ear, which is medically known as tinnitus.

Evoked Response Audiometry

Ear Problem Audio TestingThis test is conducted to people who are suffering from one ear tinnitus. It records the activity of the inner ear through a painless computerized technology.

Tinnitus Pitch Match

Every physical tone has a corresponding pitch and each pitch represents a particular tone. Frequency is a number of cycles completed by a sound wave per second. The frequency varies; some have low while others are high. So, what is the gauge in determining the pitch of tinnitus? Well, the patient will listen to a group of noises and he will choose which group of external tones closely matches his tinnitus.

Tinnitus Loudness Match

After determining the kind of sound, then next step is to find out the loudness of tinnitus. The primary goal of performing this test is to measure the actual loudness of tinnitus. The quality of sound is usually the same to that of a whispering sound, which ranges between 4 and 7 decibels. However, the loudness of sound varies from one person to another.

Visual analog scale

The scale ranges from zero to 10. If the rating is zero, then it means that the patient is not suffering from tinnitus at all. On the other hand, 10 is the loudest tinnitus. So, what the patients will do is they will choose a number that best represents the loudness of tinnitus that they are currently experiencing.

Maskability of Tinnitus

It pertains to the degree of which tinnitus can be masked using external sounds. How to measure the maskability of tinnitus? A band of noise will be used to mask the sound, which will be applied with the use of earphones. The masking sound will be gradually increased until such time that it will be detected by the patient.

Neuropsychological testing

This test is usually done to screen patients from various psychological disorders like anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. These psychological disorders are commonly experienced by people with tinnitus.

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