How is objective tinnitus diagnosed?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
To diagnose objective tinnitus, your doctor will first ask you questions, such as:
  • How long have you been hearing noise in your ears?
  • What does it sound like?
  • Do you hear it in both ears, or only one?
  • Is it constant, or does it come and go?
  • Does the noise coincide with your heartbeat?
  • Have you had a head or ear injury?
Your answers to these questions can help your doctor figure out whether you have rare objective tinnitus, caused by the blood vessels or muscles making noise near your ears. Your doctor will also check your hearing, examine your ears, and listen to your blood flow with a stethoscope. In the case of objective tinnitus, your doctor should be able to hear the sound when close to your ear or using a stethoscope. Depending on what the doctor finds, you may need more tests, such as a CT scan to check for abnormalities in your blood vessels.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.