A tinnitus specialist is a person who performs initial assessment and evaluation of the condition of a person suffering from tinnitus or the severity of the tinnitus.
An example of a tinnitus specialist is an audiologist who will assess the audiological profile of a tinnitus patient based on relevant medical history prior to performing various diagnostic tests. Some of the diagnostic tests that will be done by an audiologist are otoscopy, tympanometry for determining health of middle ear, puretone audiometry, tinnitus maskability, tinnitus pitch matching and measurement of uncomfortable loudness levels. The tinnitus specialist will use the results of the tests in suggesting treatment.
It is important for a tinnitus patient to consult a specialist immediately especially if he or she experiences occasional ringing in the ears or other sounds such buzzing, hissing, roaring or whizzing. People who experience tinnitus symptoms can be easily distressed by the sounds such that a remedy is a must. It is also important to know the cause of the sounds since these sounds may also the result of ear or head injuries, ear infections and other diseases of the ear.
An audiologist is an expert specialist in hearing and has obtained an advanced degree usually a Master’s and sometimes a doctorate. He can perform all the audiological exams and hearing assessments. He can can also suggest the use of a hearing aid which can amplify everyday sounds to mask tinnitus noises heard by the patient as well as the use of tinnitus maskers and tinnitus instruments. Some audiologists also render services in counseling, providing strategies and biofeedback, and suggesting relaxation as well as a perception retraining therapy or auditory habituation by which the use of level noise generators is a must.
Other tinnitus specialists
The tinnitus specialist including a medical doctor such as an ENT or an otolaryngologist can also perform diagnostic tests such as electrocochleography, auditory brainstem response, electronystagmography and a test for otoacoustic emissions to reliably detect middle ear and inner ear function.
An audiologist usually performs additional tinnitus evaluation and treatment after results of exams performed by an ENT or otologists such as screening for allergies and Meniere’s syndrome or any pathology turning out to be negative.