Got tinnitus. Any other testing apart from pure tone?

Posted by johnwright123 @johnwright123, Nov 27, 2020

I recently developed tinnitus and I went through a couple of hearing tests. In NHS, Audiologists used “pure tone testing”, and both tones in pure tone testing overlapped with my tinnitus sound especially in high frequency. Audiologists suggest that I may have sensorineural hearing loss at high frequency. I did some online testing afterwards based on voice recognition in a noisy environment. They seem to suggest that I don’t have hearing loss. I am in late 30s and I have never had problem with hearing. Can anyone suggest that if there is any other testing apart from pure tone is available to know whether I have hearing loss? Doctors are investigating hearing loss in my new born. They seem to conclude that it is a genetic condition.

Have you been exposed to loud noise? Rock Bands, shooting range, hunting, industrial, etc.? Noise is a common cause of both tinnitus and hearing loss. Hearing loss often accompanies tinnitus, but not always. Tinnitus can be a signal that nearing loss may come in time. It's definitely a warning for you to stay on top of your hearing acuity. Sensorineural hearing loss generally starts out at a mild level and is progressive. Excess noise is likely to make it progress faster, so prevention is important. You can protect your hearing from excess noise. Did your newborn not pass his/her newborn hearing screening?

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@johnwright123 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You have developed tinnitus and are looking for additional testing options to assess hearing loss. I'd like to invite members, @stella52 @ken82 @nurseheadakes @lioness @mikepa @mickeyb2 @2beagles @tonyinmi @imallears @joyces into the discussion, as they have recently discussed hearing loss and they may be able to help you.

I'm wondering what your provider says about additional testing and if you have considered a second opinion?

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@johnwright123 You bring up an interesting point. I've often wondered how they can reliably test hearing when the tinnitus can mask the tones. My guess is that they cannot. You mentioned that you had more than one test and had gotten the same result. It does seem odd that the diagnosis was a high frequency hearing loss. I always tell people to walk out of a hearing test with a copy of your audiogram. It should be kept with all of your medical records. When you change audiologists, they will not know the results of your tests from a different clinic. There is no national database. If you take your previous audiogram when you get retested, you can question why there may be a difference. Did you get a copy of the audiogram? If so, did they both look close to the same?
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi I have had hearing tests at Mayo MN and at my local Medical Clinic in Central Iowa.. Both Mayo and McFarland Clinic use "Epic" for their Medical records.. an since my Audiologist tests were done at these facilities my doctors at both can access my records.. Epic is a Madison WI Area Company that has 10,000 employees all over the US… Check out if your Hearing tests are done by a clinic that uses "Epic"… then they are easily transferred to another Epic user… Over 250 Medical Organizations use Epic .. about 30% of the Hospitals do as well….

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@ken82

@tonyinmi I have had hearing tests at Mayo MN and at my local Medical Clinic in Central Iowa.. Both Mayo and McFarland Clinic use "Epic" for their Medical records.. an since my Audiologist tests were done at these facilities my doctors at both can access my records.. Epic is a Madison WI Area Company that has 10,000 employees all over the US… Check out if your Hearing tests are done by a clinic that uses "Epic"… then they are easily transferred to another Epic user… Over 250 Medical Organizations use Epic .. about 30% of the Hospitals do as well….

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Regardless of whether your hearing test/audiogram records are available through Epic or other group, it's wise to request a copy of your audiogram for your own personal files. That way, should you choose to, you can shop for hearing aids from a different provider if you're not happy with your initial purchase. The hearing aid industry has become more 'consumer based' in recent years. You receive a trial period with purchase, and can return the product within that time frame. That trial period is so important. If you are dissatisfied, do something about it. If your original provider will extend the trial period and allow you to try a different product, that's good. Some will do that; some will not. If you don't have that audiogram for a different provider, you start all over and pay for the testing. Tony is right….get a copy of the audiogram.

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@ken82

@tonyinmi I have had hearing tests at Mayo MN and at my local Medical Clinic in Central Iowa.. Both Mayo and McFarland Clinic use "Epic" for their Medical records.. an since my Audiologist tests were done at these facilities my doctors at both can access my records.. Epic is a Madison WI Area Company that has 10,000 employees all over the US… Check out if your Hearing tests are done by a clinic that uses "Epic"… then they are easily transferred to another Epic user… Over 250 Medical Organizations use Epic .. about 30% of the Hospitals do as well….

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@ken82, Yes, I would imagine that audiologist practices that exist within a hospital or affiliated with a hospital will have a patient portal. Most of the clinics that I've visited are private practice and do not have a means for a patient to view test results. Thanks for this information. It's another factor that may be important for some people when choosing an audiologist.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

@johnwright123 You bring up an interesting point. I've often wondered how they can reliably test hearing when the tinnitus can mask the tones. My guess is that they cannot. You mentioned that you had more than one test and had gotten the same result. It does seem odd that the diagnosis was a high frequency hearing loss. I always tell people to walk out of a hearing test with a copy of your audiogram. It should be kept with all of your medical records. When you change audiologists, they will not know the results of your tests from a different clinic. There is no national database. If you take your previous audiogram when you get retested, you can question why there may be a difference. Did you get a copy of the audiogram? If so, did they both look close to the same?
Tony in Michigan

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Thank you for all replies. Apologies, I didn’t share my audiogram before. My hearing is at 5db in low and medium frequencies. However, I am at 30db in 3000hz, 60db in 4000hz, 40db in 6000hz and 20db in 8000hz. As you see, I am gaining back my hearing towards 8000hz. It is different from normal hearing loss. Pure tone is overlapping with my tinnitus around 4000hz. Have you ever seen similar graph?

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