Making a specialist or doctor’s appointment allows you to proactively comprehend better what condition you are suffering from and to know the steps that will help you feel better. Providing inaccurate or ambiguous information may result in you getting a poor quality of treatment.
So in order for the doctor to come up with a correct diagnosis, you need to provide the doctor all the right information he needs. A checklist listed below can help you to better prepare you for your doctor’s appointment.
You may need to prepare a guide specific for your condition to submit to your doctor. These can include:
- All the medicines that you are presently taking including steroids, herbs and supplements.
- Your medical history that can include any past diseases, ear infections, blood flow conditions, loss of hearing and any neck or injuries you may have.
- A description of your symptoms and when you first noticed them – Include the severity of your symptoms especially if the noise increased in intensity. Include the suspected triggers and the factors (drink, food, exercise, music, sound, etc.) or things that can make the noise either better or worse.
- A list detailing your daily or regular exposure to loud noise – State if your occupation is in a noisy environment or if you frequently go to clubs or concerts
- A description of the noise you constantly hear in your ear. Is it a hissing noise, a washing machine type of noise or if the noise is a constant tone or a pulsating beat.
- The loudness of the noise and how much does it affect your everyday life.
- If the noise is heard in both ears or only on one or if the noise seems to emanate exteriorly or inside your head
- The regularity of the noise – If the noise comes or goes or is it always there in your ear
Your doctor will need to ask you a number of questions in order to get a better perspective of your condition and make a correct diagnosis. The questions may go like these:
- When was the first time you noticed your symptoms?
- What kind of noise do you hear?
- Is the noise heard in both of your ears?
- Does the noise comes and go or is it continuous?
- Do you hear a soft or loud noise?
- Does the noise bother you a lot?
- What things or activities seem to better your symptoms?
- What things or activities worsen your symptoms?
- Are you regularly exposed to loud noises?
- Do you have a history of head injury or ear problem?
Upon diagnosis of tinnitus, the doctor may most probably refer you to an otolaryngologist (threat, nose and ear specialist) or to an audiologist (hearing professional).
Dominic Sembello, L.Ac., is board certified and licensed acupuncturist in Linwood, NJ.