Tinnitus can manifest as acute lasting just a few days or months, or as chronic lasting longer than six months. It is often described as a ringing in the ears, but is also reported to sound like hissing, buzzing, roaring, sizzling or other noise. The sound is unique for everyone, can be a combination of sounds, and change over time.
If you’re one of the 5% of Americans suffering from tinnitus that is moderately to significantly annoying, it is recommended to visit a hearing specialist for an evaluation. Our top team of audiologists is equipped with many tools and strategies to help patients with tinnitus, but first we need to assess your condition.
You will need to have an audiological evaluation with one of our audiologists and an otologic evaluation with one of our ENT’s prior to scheduling a tinnitus evaluation. For many people the counseling they receive at these appointments is all they need to learn how to successfully manage their tinnitus. If you feel that you need more than this, a dedicated tinnitus evaluation can be scheduled.
What To Expect During a Tinnitus Evaluation
There are several goals we hope to accomplish when we evaluate a tinnitus patient:
- Identify the underlying cause of your tinnitus symptoms.
- Determine if your tinnitus is subjective or objective.
- Educate on the interplay between hearing status and tinnitus.
- Evaluate how your tinnitus is affecting your life.
- Assess whether you’re experiencing any sound tolerance problems.
- Establish concrete goals to manage your tinnitus and start to reduce the impact it has on your life.
The goal of the tinnitus evaluation is to create an individualized plan based on the way your tinnitus is impacting your life. Most tinnitus management plans include a combination of sound exposure therapy and stress reduction. Hearing aids are often recommended for people with bothersome tinnitus even when they do not have difficulty with their hearing. Patients might be referred for outside evaluations of other medical or mental health issues that could be impacting tinnitus including insomnia, depression and anxiety.
Like many medical issues there are no quick fixes for tinnitus, but there are many things that can be done to manage the effect it has on your life. We are here to help you understand your tinnitus and what you can do to take control of your life back from tinnitus.
Call Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery at (503) 581-1567 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
“I have been going to Willamette ENT on and off for most of my life. The staff is always so friendly, and the doctors and nurses show a lot of care and compassion!”