Tinnitus is an abnormal perception of a sound that is unrelated to an external source of noise. Tinnitus is a very common disorder. It may be intermittent, constant, mild or severe. The sound may be described in a variety of different ways including ringing, buzzing, roaring, pulsing, hissing, humming, etc. It may or may not be associated with a hearing loss. However, about 80% of individuals who experience tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss. It is also classified further into subjective tinnitus (a noise perceived by the patient alone) or objective (a noise perceived by the patient as well as by another listener). Subjective tinnitus is common; however, objective tinnitus is relatively uncommon. Tinnitus must always be thought of as a symptom with several different possible causes, just as pain in the leg, for example, is a symptom that can be caused by a number of different problems. The most appropriate way to determine the nature of tinnitus is with a comprehensive audiologial and medical evaluation with a licensed audiologist and physician.
The location of tinnitus may be sensed in the ear(s) and/or in the head. However, the sound may be produced in one or more locations. A “peripheral” site includes dysfunction within the auditory system that extends up to but not involving the brainstem. Generally, this would include the hearing organ (cochlea) or the hearing nerve. A “central” site refers to involvement of the central auditory pathways, beginning at the brainstem and involving other portions of the central nervous system.
It is always recommended that patients with tinnitus have a complete evaluation done by an ear doctor and an audiologist. At Advantage Audiology the physician and the audiologist will work together during your appointment to determine if further testing is needed or if specific treatments for the tinnitus can be provided.
Treatment of Tinnitus
There are many treatment options available for tinnitus. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment. We can perform a thorough evaluation including a hearing test and make the best recommendation for your situation.