Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up


How to Talk With Your Doctor About Tinnitus

How to Talk With Your Doctor About Tinnitus

Have you noticed a buzzing, ringing, hissing, or clicking sound that only you can hear? If so, you may have tinnitus. It can be mild or loud, and affect one or both ears.

Recommended Related to

Understanding Tinnitus -- Diagnosis and Treatment

To determine what underlying medical condition may be causing your tinnitus, your doctor will give you a general physical exam, including a careful examination of your ears. Be sure to inform your doctor of all medications you are taking, because tinnitus can be a side effect of some drugs. If the source of the problem remains unclear, you may be sent to an otologist or an otolaryngologist (both ear specialists) or an audiologist (a hearing specialist) for hearing and nerve tests. As part of your...

Read the Understanding Tinnitus -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

Tinnitus is not a disease. It's a problem in your hearing system. It's usually not a sign of anything serious, though you should see your doctor to get it checked out.

What Your Doctor Needs to Know About Tinnitus

How tinnitus affects your life is important for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may ask:

  • What are your symptoms?
  • Do the symptoms make it hard to concentrate, sleep, or work?
  • Has tinnitus caused relationship problems or made it hard to do daily tasks?

Loud noises and aging are common causes of tinnitus. A health problem, such as thyroid imbalance or high blood pressure, can also cause it. So can earwax, if it blocks the ear canal. Some medications may also trigger tinnitus. Sometimes, there is no clear cause.

When you meet with your doctor, be ready to answer questions like these:

  • Have you had any long-term exposure to loud noises, including at work?
  • Have you been exposed to an extremely loud noise, such as an explosion?
  • What prescription drugs do you take?
  • What over-the-counter drugs, supplements, or natural remedies do you take, if any?
  • Have you ever had any head or neck injuries?

Certain things can trigger bouts of tinnitus, or worsen it. Your doctor may ask:

  • Do you drink alcohol or caffeine?
  • Do you smoke cigarettes?
  • Are you under a lot of stress?

That information can help your doctor determine what treatment may help.

Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor About Tinnitus

Learning about tinnitus can help you manage it. Ask your doctor these questions so you better understand your condition.

  • What is tinnitus?
  • What causes it?
  • Can you tell what's causing my tinnitus?
  • Will it go away on its own?
  • Can other people hear the noise in my ears?
  • Will tinnitus damage my hearing?
  • Does having tinnitus mean I have hearing loss?

Tinnitus can be treated. The treatment depends on what's causing it and how severe it is. You may want to ask your doctor these questions to learn about your options:

  • What are the treatments for tinnitus?
  • Are there any risks or side effects from the treatment?
  • What can I do on my own to manage tinnitus?
  • How can I stop tinnitus from getting worse?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on January 21, 2015
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

disciplining a boy
Types, symptoms, causes.
Remember your finger
Are You Getting More Forgetful?
fruit drinks
Eat these to think better.
No gym workout
Moves to help control blood sugar.
acupuncture needle on shoulder
10 tips to look and feel good.
Close up of eye
12 reasons you're distracted.
birth control pills
Which kind is right for you?
embarrassed woman
Do you feel guilty after eating?
Epinephrine Injection using Auto-Injector Syringe
Life-threatening triggers.
woman biting a big ice cube
Habits that wreck your teeth.
pacemaker next to xray
Treatment options.
caregiver with parent
10 tips for daily life.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.