When To See An Audiologist About Tinnitus Doctor Sara Young

When To See An Audiologist About Tinnitus Doctor Sara Young

By: Sara Young, AuD, CCC-A

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the ear where there is no external sound present.  It is a very common condition that often presents itself as a ringing sound; but can also be perceived as a buzzing sound, roaring, a high pitched / low pitched sounds, whooshing, or sound like your heartbeat. 

Tinnitus can be in one or both ears and can be constant or intermittent. Many people experience tinnitus but do not pay any attention to it while others are extremely bothered. 

Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself; it is a symptom of an underlying cause or condition. These conditions include but are not limited to age related hearing loss, exposure to loud sounds, buildup of earwax, infection in the middle ear space, head or neck injuries, and TMJ disorders.

In rare cases tinnitus is caused by a blood vessel disorder.  It is important to see an ear nose and throat doctor to determine the serverity and treatment options of your condition.

What Are Common Treatments for Tinnitus?

There are medications that can cause or worsen tinnitus; some of the medications on the list include some antibiotics, and some cancer medications that may be effective at treating tinnitus.  

Some studies have shown some promise in other methods (physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, sound therapy).

Who is Susceptible to Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be experienced by anyone and is often out of a person’s control, but some things may increase the likelihood. These include exposure to loud noise, smoking, and cardiovascular problems.

To help prevent tinnitus use hearing protection, turn down the volume of your music, and take care of your heart!

When Should I see a Doctor?

It is important to find out the underlying condition causing your tinnitus. If you experience the following tinnitus symptoms, you should see an otolaryngologist (ear nose and throat doctor) and audiologist:

  • When the tinnitus is only in one ear
  • When the sound is affecting your quality of life
  • When the low or high pitched ringing starts suddenly or changes in volume or duration
  • When the sound is accompanied with hearing loss or dizziness
  • When it sounds like your heartbeat.

Call NCEENT At First Symptoms!

It is important to take a comprehensive approach to your tinnitus management.  For treatment of tinnitus Doctor Sara Young sees patients in our Chapel Hill and North Durham offices. Call 919-595-2000 to schedule an appointment today.