When Should You see a Hearing Specialist?
Please note: the following information does not constitute professional medical advice, and is provided for general informational purposes only. Please speak to your doctor if you have tinnitus.
The question that everybody with tinitus is asking, Temporary Tinnitus or Serious Damage: When Should I see the Specialist?
If you have experienced noises or ringing in your ears or head, when no external physical noises are present, you could be suffering from tinnitus. This is a physical condition that damages the tiny sensory hair cells in the cochlea of your inner ear. You will need to see a doctor immediately, who can refer you to a tinnitus specialist for an evaluation and further testing. There is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments that can help you manage tinnitus.
Do I Need to see a Tinnitus Specialist?
If the ringing noise in your ear lasts for more than a few days, it is a good idea to see your family doctor. You should see a doctor immediately if the noise is accompanied by dizziness and pain. He can evaluate the situation and determine if you should see a specialist. Although this condition is not well-known, it is very common. In some cases, people fail to get treatment and experience permanent damage to their hair cells.
What to Expect During an Evaluation?
One of the challenges pertaining to a tinnitus evaluation is that every patient will experience something different. Although there will be similarities, a tinnitus specialist will need to measure the situation by asking a variety of questions, such as:
• How many days has the ringing been going on?
• Is there an activity, or time of day, that makes it worse?
• Is the sound constant or temporary?
• Is it a loud or low sound?
• Does the noise ever change?
After listening to your answers, making a list of your symptoms, and learning more about your medical history, a specialist can decide how to proceed.
Types of Testing
There are some tests that a specialist may administer after the evaluation, in order to determine if this condition is temporary, or if it possesses a serious danger. These tests will vary, but commonly include: a pitch match test, a loudness test, and a visual analog test. After the testing has been performed, the specialist will have more insight on how to treat the issue.
Types of Treatment
The bad news is that tinnitus can be very agitating, and in some cases, painful. However, the good news is that a qualified specialist can generally treat the symptoms, although there is no cure. Treatment will vary, depending on the results of your evaluation. Here are some of the treatments that a medical professional may recommend:
• Hearing aids
• Masking and noise suppression devices
• Tinnitus Retraining Therapy
• Free-standing white noise generating machine
In some cases, there are medications that a specialist can prescribe to help suppress the tinnitus symptoms. A medical expert will also determine if you there is an underlying condition that is causing tinnitus.
This is a condition that can be very frustrating and confusing for patients, which is why you should always leave it to the professionals. Our tinnitus specialists have the knowledge and training to evaluate your situation and determine the best course of treatment. Our main goal is to help you get the relief you need!