What to expect at a tinnitus appointment?
Everyone experiences tinnitus differently. That’s why our tinnitus appointments focus on your specific tinnitus symptoms, how it has impacted your quality of life, and how we are able to help manage your symptoms.
Allow about 2 hours for your appointment with us. If you have had your hearing evaluated by an audiologist, we ask that you bring a copy of those results to your appointment and any other pertinent medical history information pertaining to your tinnitus. Otherwise, we will go ahead with our full hearing examination.
When diagnosing for tinnitus, we check for any hearing loss. This is because about 90 % of tinnitus cases also reveal an underlying hearing loss.
Bring a friend!
We invite our patients to bring someone with them to the initial assessment. Studies have shown that patients often only recall about 50% of the information they receive during a visit. While we do everything possible to ensure you leave with a firm grasp of the most important information, we understand it’s helpful to have another person listening too.
1. A hearing health history
The first step is to understand and find out about your medical history. There are various possible causes of tinnitus and hearing loss so your information can help to determine whether your family has something hereditary or genetic which might be contributing to your current condition.
A hearing loss or tinnitus can also occur in medical circumstances such as allergies, head cold, ear infections and even impacted earwax. We might also enquire whether you have experienced any recent trauma to the head or ears, as any injury to these areas may cause temporary or permanent hearing damage.
2. Ear examination
3. Hearing Tests
The first test is called the Pure Tone Test. You will hear sounds of distinct tones via headphones and will be requested to click a button each time you hear a noise. Gradually the sounds will become quieter in order to determine the softest sounds you can hear. These findings are registered on a diagram called an audiogram.
Next, we will conduct a Speech Audiometry Test. This tests your ability to understand speech without the help of visual clues like lip movements or facial expressions. We will play speech through headphones and ask you to repeat what you have heard.
In addition to the tests above, we might also perform additional testing, such as ultra-high frequencies, tinnitus pitch and loudness match (when applicable), and tests to gauge your uncomfortable loudness levels.
When the tests are finished, we will explain the results to you using what they have discovered and why it has an effect on your lives. We will now be able to see if hearing loss has any effect on your current condition.
Consultation about your Tinnitus
Based on your hearing tests results and the information you give us about your specific symptoms, we will go through a detailed case history about you, your tinnitus, and how it affects your quality of life.
We look at the specific reasons why sounds are more bothersome to some people than others. You will learn the basic concepts behind management and treatments of tinnitus, and you will have an opportunity to test several treatment options. Upon completion you will receive specific recommendations for treatment options. This might include Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment, or a mixture of both.