Do you know what tinnitus is? It’s a symptom of an underlying condition that affects many people and can cause a lot of distress. Tinnitus is basically a ringing in the ears, and it can be very loud and intrusive. This blog will discuss tinnitus in more detail. It will also explore the question of whether or not tinnitus affects hearing tests. So, keep reading to learn more!

So, What Is Tinnitus?

The term tinnitus comes from the Latin word for ringing. Tinnitus is a common condition, and it is estimated that about 15% of the general population experiences it to some degree. Tinnitus is more common in older adults, but it can occur at any age. It is also more common in men than women. Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no external noise is present.

It can be a ringing, buzzing, hissing or roaring noise. It can be constant or intermittent, and it can vary in loudness. Tinnitus can be very annoying and intrusive, and it can make it difficult to concentrate or hear external sounds. There are many possible causes of tinnitus, and often, there is no known cause.

Exposure to Loud Noise

This is the most common cause of tinnitus. Loud noise can damage the inner ear, and this damage can lead to tinnitus. Even exposure to moderate noise can cause tinnitus if it is continuous or prolonged. Noise-induced tinnitus often goes away when the exposure to noise stops. However, in some cases, it can be permanent.

Age-Related Hearing Loss

As we age, our hearing often begins to decline. This age-related hearing loss is the second most common cause of tinnitus. Age-related hearing loss is usually gradual and happens over many years. It can be caused by a variety of things, including changes in the inner ear or the nerve that carries sound from the ear to the brain. Age-related hearing loss can also make it more difficult to hear high-pitched sounds, which can make tinnitus more noticeable.

Earwax Buildup

Earwax is a normal substance that helps protect the ear. However, too much earwax can cause tinnitus. In addition, earwax can block the ear canal and make it difficult for sound to travel from the outer ear to the inner ear.

There are many other possible causes of tinnitus, including head and neck injuries, certain medications and medical conditions such as Meniere’s disease. In many cases, the exact cause of tinnitus is unknown.

How Can You Treat Tinnitus?

There is no cure for tinnitus, but there are treatments that can help make it more manageable. Some people find relief with hearing aids or other devices that amplify sound. If the cause of tinnitus is known, treating the underlying condition can sometimes help. For example, if tinnitus is caused by a buildup of earwax, removing the earwax can often relieve the symptoms. In some cases, counseling and stress management can help people cope with the distress of tinnitus. There are also medications that can be helpful in some cases.

Does Tinnitus Affect a Hearing Test?

So now that we know a little bit more about tinnitus let’s explore the question of whether or not it affects hearing tests. There are two types of hearing tests: pure-tone audiometry and speech audiometry.

In pure-tone audiometry, tones of different frequencies are used to measure hearing threshold level (HTL). Tones are presented at different intensities, and the person being tested indicates when they can hear the tone. This test can help to identify the type, degree and configuration of hearing loss. Tinnitus is not usually a factor in pure-tone audiometry because the tones used in this test are presented at very low intensities.

In speech audiometry, words are used instead of tones. The person being tested must repeat back the words that they hear. This test measures how well a person understands speech. Tinnitus can be a factor in speech audiometry if it is loud enough to interfere with hearing and understanding speech.

So, to answer the question posed in this blog post’s title: yes, tinnitus can affect a hearing test, but only if it is loud enough to interfere with hearing. Talk to your audiologist if you think you have tinnitus, and they will help you get the best treatment for your needs. If you have tinnitus and are concerned about how it may be affecting your hearing, please make an appointment with Arkansas Professional Hearing Care at (501) 588-0177.

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