Tinnitus and Reduced Sound Tolerance
The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic’s audiologists and graduate student clinicians provide services to adults and children with tinnitus and/or decreased sound tolerance. Tinnitus and hyperacusis can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. Our professionals are trained in the most current, research-based methods and take a holistic approach to treatment. We are here to provide comprehensive evaluations, individualized treatment plans, and strategies that offer relief and control.
Many patients come to us feeling discouraged because they have been told there is no cure for tinnitus. While there may be no medical treatment that will cure it, there are many effective treatment options. Our staff will take the time to understand your individual situation and goals and support you in finding relief.
–Dr. Alyssa Seeman
This type of appointment includes:
- The initial appointment is scheduled for three hours.
- Services will be provided by a graduate level student clinician under the supervision of a certified audiologist (Au.D-CCC).
- Many health insurance companies cover the cost of annual hearing evaluations, however do not cover tinnitus management. Medicare requires a physician’s referral. Our office management is available to provide information regarding insurance policies.
The case history is designed specifically to assess the amount of disruption the tinnitus and/or decreased sound tolerance is bringing to daily life. Individuals will be asked to complete a few forms prior to the appointment to better understand the complications faced. Graduate clinicians will review documents received from the physician and take some time to ask the patient and loved ones at the appointment details about hearing health, previous recreational and occupational noise exposure, and medical history to determine any signs of hearing disorders.
The audiologist and graduate students will perform a comprehensive hearing evaluation, in addition to the specialized tinnitus assessment. Check out the Comprehensive Hearing Evaluation Services page on our website to review over the procedures included for this portion of the evaluation.
Previous studies have expressed the difficulty in measuring tinnitus, however there are strategies utilized by audiologists that give our professionals a better understanding to provide appropriate treatment. Our specialists utilize our testing equipment to evaluate how loud the tinnitus is in each ear, and estimate the pitch of the tinnitus. The graduate student clinician and tinnitus specialist will also measure how sensitive the ears are to loud sounds.
A major portion of this appointment involves discussion of results and treatment options. The audiologist will describe the test results, how our ears process sounds and speech, theories on the mechanisms of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis, and treatment options. Recommendations to visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician will be given to those who should seek further medical services.
Tinnitus Relief Options
Our tinnitus specialists review over the medical reports, case history, and tinnitus assessment results to recommend the most appropriate management options. Most often, tinnitus is subjective, the cause cannot be identified and medical/surgical treatments are not options. Audiologists collaborate with other professionals such as ENTs and counselors to design an appropriate management plan.
Tinnitus management discussions may include, and are not limited to:
- Hearing aids – Those with hearing loss more commonly also have tinnitus or head noise. Hearing aids can make environmental sounds audible to help alleviate hearing internal sounds.
- Tinnitus sound generators – Tinnitus sound generators come in different styles, some look like hearing aids and others look like boomboxes. Applications for portable media players also offer masker sounds.
- Counseling, relaxation and stress reduction – As part of their treatment plan, some individuals may benefit from services provided by other professionals.