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Ringing in the Ears Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

The sensations of tinnitus may have the following characteristics:

  • Ringing, roaring, buzzing, whistling, or hissing sounds
  • Intermittent, continuous, or pulsatile quality
  • Same or varying intensity
  • Single or multiple tones
  • Ringing that comes and goes
  • More annoying symptoms at night or when there are fewer distractions
  • Sensation of normal internal events such as blood pulsing or muscles contracting
  • Sometimes tinnitus is accompanied by hearing loss and vertigo

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. Special attention will be paid to your head, neck, and ears.

You will be asked questions about:

  • Your sensations
  • Medication use
  • Whether breathing, dizziness, or anything else increases or decreases the sensation

The doctor will look at your ear canal and eardrum using an instrument with a light that is held at the external opening of the ear. A tuning fork can help evaluate hearing. You should receive a complete hearing test. Other tests, such as an MRI scan , may be ordered to rule out serious conditions.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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