How Do You Test for Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is subjective in most cases. Before one can begin treatment for tinnitus, trained professionals in the hearing health business must do several things. To diagnose and treat tinnitus, there are specific evaluations done.
What tests are needed to diagnose tinnitus?
Most hearing health providers have the clinical tools and processes to do a proper testing. The first in this measurement would be a comprehensive hearing evaluation, and may then be followed up by any of the other tests:
- Speech-recognition test: This test evaluates how well you hear and repeat particular words.
- Pure-tone testing: Pure-tone testing measures the patient’s hearing across a variety of frequencies and volumes. The results are then plotted on an audiogram.
- Tympanogram: This evaluation measures how the middle ear is functioning, particularly the movement of the conduction bones and tympanic membrane.
- Acoustic-reflex testing: Acoustic-reflex testing that gauges how effectively the middle ear muscles contract and respond to loud noises.
- Otoacoustic-emission testing: This test involves the use of sensitive microphones to objectively measure hair cell movement within the middle ear.
The tests above are essential in determining the type of hearing issues that the patient is going through. There are specific hearing tests that will give doctors and other hearing health professionals a treatment plan.
There are also additional tests a hearing provider can perform to access tinnitus, including tinnitus sound matching. This test involves setting the pitch and creating sounds that might actually be an exact replica of what the patient hears with his or her tinnitus.
How is tinnitus treated?
Unfortunately, tinnitus is not a curable condition at this time. However, there are a large variety of treatment options available to mask the discomfort and provide you with relief from symptoms. Hearing aids are generally recommended to help block-out the sounds experienced from tinnitus. Additionally, noise cancelation, relaxers and masking machines can be utilized to help you find relief from tinnitus.
If you are concerned you might be suffering from tinnitus, be sure to speak with a hearing care provider as soon as possible. Tinnitus can be a debilitating condition if it goes untreated, so don’t put off treatment any longer!