Ear Institute : Tinnitus Clinic

Tinnitus Assessment

At the UHealth Ear Institute, we are pleased to offer comprehensive tinnitus evaluations.

Prior to a tinnitus evaluation, patients are seen for a comprehensive audiologic evaluation which typically consists of otoscopy, tympanometry, and an audiometric evaluation. If a patient is a candidate for a tinnitus evaluation, they must first receive medical clearance from their referring physician. Patients are then welcome to schedule an appointment for a tinnitus evaluation with one of our tinnitus specialists.

At the time of scheduling, the patient will be given (or mailed) a packet of information regarding their scheduled appointment, in addition to forms that must be completed and returned to the Ear Institute at least 48-hours prior to their scheduled tinnitus evaluation. These required forms include the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire (TRQ), and a Tinnitus Health History form. These forms can also be found by clicking on the link in the side bar labeled patient documents.

Patients scheduled for a tinnitus evaluation are welcome to bring a family member or friend for support if they wish to do so. At the beginning of the tinnitus evaluation, the audiologist will discuss the above mentioned forms with the patient.

Following the history portion, the patient’s tinnitus will be evaluated by means of:

  • Tympanometry (to evaluate middle ear status on day of evaluation)
  • High frequency audiometry (to evaluate higher pitched tones not customarily tested in an audiologic evaluation)
  • Otoacoustic emission testing, (to evaluate outer hair cell function in the inner ear)
  • Tinnitus pitch matching (to evaluate the tone and pitch of the tinnitus)
  • Tinnitus pitch masking (to evaluate level of sound needed to mask the tinnitus)
  • Loudness sensitivity level testing (to evaluate for hyperacusis- sensitive to sound, misophonia- extreme dislike of certain sounds, phonophobia- fear of sounds, or decreased sound tolerance)
  • Residual inhibition testing (to evaluate possible masking relief from the tinnitus)

Additional testing may be completed at the discretion of the evaluating audiologist.

Following the evaluation, the audiologist will provide a thorough counseling session to review evaluation findings and to discuss management options/recommendations. Please note that the tinnitus evaluation and counseling sessions are scheduled for 90 minutes to provide our patients with ample time to discuss their results, comments, concerns, etc. In some cases, patients may be asked to return for an addition session if more time is needed to discuss options and recommendations.