Audiologists at Cary Audiology are trained to perform tinnitus evaluations and help address your tinnitus and hearing-related concerns.
Tinnitus is the perception of hearing a ringing noise in one or both ears. Commonly known as “phantom noise” or “phantom hearing,” tinnitus isn’t actually caused by an external sound. In fact, other people cannot hear what people with tinnitus are hearing.
Is tinnitus serious? Generally, no. However, it is highly important to get to the root of tinnitus because it is actually more of a symptom rather than a condition. Our team at Cary Audiology is trained to perform tinnitus evaluations and create a personalized treatment plan to help manage tinnitus along with hearing loss.
How common is tinnitus?
Tinnitus is quite common, affecting about 15% to 20% of people in the United States. Tinnitus can occur at any age but it appears to be more common in older adults.
Classifications of Tinnitus
Tinnitus can vary in pitch and intensity. It can be perceived in one or both ears. Below are the major classifications of tinnitus:
Vibratory or Pulsatile Tinnitus
Vibratory or pulsatile tinnitus is commonly caused by malformations or disorders of the blood vessels and arteries located near the ears. These abnormalities may include aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations which can be attributed to changes in the blood flow.
Non-vibratory tinnitus is caused by biochemical changes in the nerve mechanism responsible for hearing.
Subjective tinnitus is the perception of sound without an acoustic stimulus and can be only heard by the patient. Most tinnitus cases fall into this classification. Otologic problems are the most common causes of subjective tinnitus.
Objective tinnitus can be heard by an examiner who is in close proximity to the patient or through a stethoscope placed over the patient’s external auditory canal. This type of tinnitus is very rare, accounting for 1% of total tinnitus cases reported.
Tinnitus Evaluations at Cary Audiology
For our tinnitus evaluation, we will start with a questionnaire to obtain a thorough medical history. This questionnaire will help us identify the severity of your tinnitus, its onset, and more.
After the questionnaire, we will perform a diagnostic hearing evaluation to assess the middle ear. We will also conduct Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) and additional tests to determine the pitch and loudness of your tinnitus.
What’s next after a tinnitus evaluation?
After a tinnitus evaluation, the results will be thoroughly examined and explained to the patient. As of now, there is no scientifically validated cure or medicine to target tinnitus directly. However, there are treatment and management options that can help ease the burden of tinnitus, allowing patients to live life comfortably.
Generally, most patients don’t need a complicated treatment plan for tinnitus. However, for patients with severe tinnitus symptoms, tinnitus masking techniques may be needed.
Sound maskers can provide tinnitus relief by producing white noise or other relaxing sounds. If we identify hearing loss with tinnitus, hearing aids for tinnitus may be recommended.
Hearing aids for tinnitus are equipped with sound maskers or tinnitus relief technology which offers an additional benefit for patients diagnosed with tinnitus.
Tinnitus Evaluation in Cary, NC
Tinnitus may not be considered a serious health problem, but if left untreated, it can cause fatigue, anxiety, depression, and problems with memory and concentration. Severe tinnitus may even be a source of mental and emotional distress. You can prevent this by seeing an audiologist at the onset of tinnitus symptoms.
Audiologists at Cary Audiology are trained to handle tinnitus from evaluation and diagnosis to treatment.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation!