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Ringing in the Ears (Tinnitus)

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Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • When did your tinnitus start?
  • Have you ever had tinnitus before? How old were you when you first had problems with tinnitus?
  • Is the tinnitus in one or both ears? Do you feel like the noise is inside your head?
  • How would you describe your tinnitus?
    • Is it high-pitched or low-pitched?
    • Is it constant, or does it come and go?
    • Is it steady, or does it pulsate? If it pulsates, is it in time with your heartbeat or is it irregular with no steady rhythm?
    • Do you hear roaring, clicking, or blowing noises?
    • Does it change when you swallow or yawn?
  • Have you noticed any hearing loss?
  • Have you had a recent injury to the ear?
  • Have you recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident that set off the air bag?
  • Do you have any other symptoms of a nervous system problem, such as numbness, weakness, or loss of coordination?
  • Do you have frequent headaches or temporomandibular (TM) pain?
  • Do you have any symptoms of vertigo?
  • Have you recently lost 20 lb (9 kg) or more?
  • What prescription and nonprescription medicines are you currently taking?
    • How long have you taken these medicines?
    • Have you recently started taking any new medicines?
    • Have you increased your dose of any medicines?
    • Did you ever use streptomycin, gentamicin, or other ear medicines in the past?
  • Do you have any health risks?
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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