Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Assessment: The Clinic offers a comprehensive Tinnitus and Hyperacusis assessment for patients.
What is Tinnitus: Tinnitus is the term for the sensation of hearing a sound in the absence of any external sound. Tinnitus can be described as a ringing, whooshing, humming or buzzing in the ear. These sounds can be continuous or tinnitus can come and go. The tinnitus might seem like it’s in one ear or in both, in the middle of the head or hard to pinpoint. Tinnitus can occur is 80% of patients who may have an underlying hearing loss or in patient when exposed to loud sounds, music and machinery without hearing protection.
What is Hyperacusis: When a person experiences the sounds of everyday life as intrusively loud, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. Some people with hyperacusis withdraw from social and professional activities and become isolated; this can make the problem worse as they become fearful and anxious to avoid loud sound. Some people notice an increase in sensitivity after they have had a difficult life event, for example, bereavement. In many cases, there is no clear reason why the hyperacusis started. Hyperacusis can co-occur with Tinnitus.
The initial session includes a thorough case history, ear examination and hearing and tinnitus assessment. Consultation time may be 90 minutes. Questionnaires are used such as the THI (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory) and TFI (Tinnitus Functional Index) to help grade tinnitus perception and level of annoyance. Handouts and information are provided to the patient at the end of the assessment.
Tinnitus / Hyperacusis intervention and Management: Depending on the outcome of the assessment, a referral will need to be made to an Ear Nose and Throat Consultant for further management or if onward referral is not required, then the patient can continue with audiological intervention and management.
For mild to moderate Hyperacusis cases, sound therapy training to help desensitize the patient’s reactions to loud sound may be helpful. For significant Tinnitus and Hyperacusis, a referral is made to a professional Counsellor for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to manage thought patterns and behaviour in order to cope better with Tinnitus or Hyperacusis. This is done in conjunction with Tinnitus Retraining Therapy provided by the Audiologist.
A range of suitable tinnitus strategies and technologies are discussed with the patient. For those patients who present with hearing loss and tinnitus, and if a suitable candidate for hearing aid technology, the patient may continue with a trial of technology to note if their hearing has improved. Most patients find that they experience a noticeable reduction in their tinnitus perception when wearing hearing aids, as this is due to amplified sound from the hearing aid(s) ‘mixing’ with Tinnitus helping the brain to ‘shift’ it’s tinnitus perception from the foreground (loud and bothersome) to the background (lower perception, less noticeable).
Jenevieve’s patient centred approach is the real point of differentiation of Midland Hearing Care from other providers. She believes in a patient first and product based intervention later approach.
Midland Hearing Care offers the following services;
You can find out more by clicking on the links below:
Outer Ear Examination (Otoscopy)
Middle Ear Health Check (Tympanometry)
Comprehensive Hearing Assessment (Children age 4+)
Hearing Assessment (Adults)
Tinnitus Assessment (Noise in the Ears)
Microsuction and Ear Irrigation Wax Removal
Specialist Custom Hearing Protection
Hearing Aid Consultation
E-Audiology (Remote Support Now Available)