How Testing is Conducted for Tinnitus

Woman with Tinnitus

Not many people have heard of tinnitus, but if they start to experience a roaring, buzzing or hissing of the ears, they'll soon notice! Noises like this can play a big part in interrupting your day, and it can stop you from sleeping, relaxing or just going about your daily activities. If you have found that you are suffering from any of those symptoms, then you could be suffering from tinnitus.

An audiologist can determine whether this is what's happening to you right now, but it should be reassuring to know that one in five people suffer from tinnitus. It's common enough that your audiologist will have dealt with it before and seeking treatment will be a breeze.

Tinnitus symptoms

If you think that you have tinnitus, unusually severe tinnitus, you will notice that the signs can align with specific categories. Let's look at two of those:

  • Hyperacusis: You may not have heard of hyperacusis, but with the research, you will find that you could fit right into this category, particularly if you have suddenly become sensitive to the everyday sounds around you in life. The TV noise that you've always been used to is suddenly overwhelming to listen to, with the radio feeling like it's shrieking at you. Usually, this kind of reaction to sound is because you've had prolonged exposure to noise, such as working with machinery or heading to more than one concert and standing beside the speakers.
  • Musical hallucinations: Those who are dealing with long-term tinnitus may experience musical hallucinations. These present in a way that feels bizarre, as instead of the traditional buzzing and hissing, you get snippets of songs you've heard before. You should speak to an audiologist quickly if this is happening to you, as this can also be a caused or made worse by stress, epilepsy and abusing certain substances.

People experience tinnitus in different ways and the more severe it is, the harder it can be to seek help. However, as the causes vary so much, it's important to get seen for testing early so that the symptoms can be combatted. Tests provide your audiologist with a possible cause for your tinnitus, allowing you to work together to find the best solution for your particular needs.

Tinnitus testing

Understanding tinnitus starts with testing, and here are some of the best ways that your audiologist will help you to help your buzzing noises to buzz off!

  • Pure-tone test: Pure tone tests – or pure tone audiometry – enables you to be exposed to a range of sounds in different frequencies. You can have a test where you are seated in a comfortable booth with headphones on, and a sound will be played at different levels. When you hear the sound, you press the button or indicate that you have listened to it. You can have the quality of your hearing tested, which can help your audiologist to tell if the tinnitus is caused by damage to your hearing.
  • Tinnitus sound matching: This is a test that is a little different from the norm. Your audiologist will play different types of sound to you down headphones, and you would then tell them what you can hear and identify the closest sound match. It's helpful to get this test done so that your audiologist can choose the right treatment for your hearing issues.
  • Minimum masking level test: With this test, your audiologist will play sounds at a variety of volumes. You can then tell the audiologist the minimum sound that you can hear and when the tinnitus symptoms are no longer noticeable. It can help to determine the masking treatment needed and whether you would need hearing aids.
  • Tympanogram: This test requires the audiologist to use a specific device to tell how your inner ear is working. There is a membrane in the ear called the tympanic membrane, and your audiologist can tell you if it's functioning correctly or not. Your hearing matters and you need to ask about this test if your tinnitus is interrupting your life in a way that feels too difficult to manage.

Contact us today

Getting the right tests can put you on the right track for your hearing future, so don't wait around for a specialist to help you to plan what to do next. If you believe that you are experiencing tinnitus, speak with one of the experts at Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, P.C. by calling:

  • Lake Jackson: (979) 292-8501
  • Houston: (713) 827-1767