Tinnitus Diagnosis And Tests

If you perceive any noise in your ears, you have tinnitus.

Because tinnitus can only be heard by the person with tinnitus, testing can be difficult. There are currently no objective clinical measures used to diagnose tinnitus. There are several different subjective measures which an Audiologist can perform, including:

  • Subjective questionnaires to determine the impact of your tinnitus on daily living and its psychological impact
  • Tinnitus pitch matching to estimate at what frequency you perceive your tinnitus
  • Tinnitus loudness matching to determine the perceived volume of your tinnitus
  • Minimum masking level to determine how much white background noise is needed to cover up or “mask” your tinnitus
  • Audiometric testing, including high-frequency testing, to determine the degree of hearing loss you may have
  • Otoacoustic emission testing to determine the function of the cells of the inner ear (cochlea)

These tests will help to guide the hearing healthcare professional in appropriate management of the individual’s tinnitus. Each person’s tinnitus is unique and must be tailored to their individual experience.