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Measuring Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a subjective symptom, which can make it difficult to describe, quantify, and diagnose. However, a properly trained audiologist has the tools to measure the quality of your tinnitus as well as find the underlying causes.

In order to measure your tinnitus an audiologist will first give you a complete audiological examination. This includes visual inspection of the inner ear, testing the health of the hearing system, and a hearing test to determine if there is any loss. Then specifically to zero in on the quality and degree of tinnitus the following tests are typically employed and are key in determining a treatment approach:

Pitch Matching Test - this test helps to determine the perception of tinnitus that the patient is suffering from by listening and matching the pitch.

Loudness Matching Test - this test helps to determine the perception of how loud the tinnitus is that the patient is suffering from.

Loudness Sensitivity Test - this test helps to determine the loudest noise a patient can tolerate without feeling discomfort.

Maskability and Inhibition Test- testing for maskability lets us know to what degree the tinnitus perception can be covered or “masked” by another sound. Inhibition measures how long the perception is reduced when the mask is removed.

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