How common is tinnitus?
Approximately 1 in 6 people experience tinnitus, which equates to almost 4 million people in Australia. However, the level of tinnitus disturbance will vary significantly from patient to patient. Therefore it has been estimated that of the 4 million people who experience tinnitus, 1.1 million people may be moderately disturbed by their tinnitus enough to seek a medical opinion, and almost 200,000 people are severely disturbed by their tinnitus on a daily basis.
Our Tinnitus Assessment
The first step toward reducing tinnitus disturbance is to understand the mechanisms of tinnitus. The causes of tinnitus are numerous, which is why it is important to have a full tinnitus assessment by an audiologist with specialist training in tinnitus. At Focus Hearing we allocate 1.5 hours for a tinnitus assessment during which time the following tests are performed.
- a visual inspection of the outer ear (ear canal) to ensure their is no physical blockage such as wax or a foreign body causing the tinnitus
- If significant wax is present the audiologist at Focus Hearing has been specifically trained in wax removal and in most cases this can be done on the spot.
- a measure of the function of the middle-ear. This will help to identify a problem with the middle ear that would typically result in a referral to your GP or ENT specialist to determine whether medical intervention may be required.
- a full diagnostic audiogram, which is a measure of the softest sounds you can hear at a range of frequencies that are important for speech perception. This test is administered under headphones. The reason this test is performed is that it is very common for the frequency of a person’s tinnitus to correspond to a loss of hearing sensitivity
- A speech in noise test
- The tinnitus assessment also involves subjective measurements of your tinnitus pitch and loudness. This information is helpful to determine the most appropriate tinnitus management program for you.
At the end of the tinnitus assessment you will have a much clearer understanding of your options and treatments available to you based on your results and level of disturbance. Our audiologist will then be able to explain to you the cause of your tinnitus and will then either offer the most appropriate treatment for your results or alternatively will recommend you be reviewed by a GP or Ear Nose and Throat Specialist if there are indicators to suggest this is necessary. Focus Hearing has access to the latest in tinnitus treatment options including the Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment program and tinnitus specific hearing aids from leading manufacturers.
To arrange a tinnitus consultation please call us directly on (02) 8402 1202 or leave your details on our Contact page (click here)