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British Tinnitus Association
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Can take an ENT examination if I have tinnitus?

One doctor has recommended that I take ENT following my complaints about hissing sounds in my ears. How safe is ENT? Is it necessary?

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Most people I think would understand 'ENT' to mean Ear, Nose & Throat - ie seeing an ENT consultant / specialist.

Is this a medication you've been advised to take? Can you give any more detail?

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The doctor says I have to take an Ear, Nose, Throt examination in order to diagnose my problem.

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That just means another doctor, who specialises in condition affecting the ear, nose or throat (ENT), is going to examine you. It's not medication.

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True. But my question is 'is it necessary to take ENT if I feel I have tinnitus?

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It's not necessary, but it's not going to do you any harm. It's just an examination by a doctor, to try and determine if there's anything that might be causing your T that they can do anything about. Unlikely but it's the standard procedure for people with T.

The only tricky bit is if they decide to do an MRI scan, as the machine they'd shovel you into to do this can be quite loud, but even then it's worth doing.

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Thanx a lot.

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Hi again Ruud1boy,

Reading your reply makes me wonder if you've had good luck with an MRI brain scan. If so, which type of scanner was used?

I'd had a brain scan (closed scanner with contrast)that gave me severe tinnitus and hyperacusis to boot. They sent me letters from the chairs of radiology, audiology and neurology, departments stating that they were sorry that this happen to me but that it's a known wrisk with MRI scanning. I'm just one of the unfortunate ones.

I've thought of posting those letters on this sight but worry about the legal consequences of doing so.

In the US, the safety guidelines are supposedly established by our FDA. My research revealed that they are actually dictated by the manufacturer, which in this case is GE.

Studies conducted in the UK find that anything over 20 minutes at 120DB or more will cause permanent hearing loss in 20% of patients. This coincides with the charts we reviewed for the scanner performance of The GE model, but these standards are based on some non controlled assumptions regarding the measure of sound and sensitivity issues of human tissue. As well, they conveniently separate different phases of the scan rather than compounding the total minutes scanned. That's cheating in my opinion but not according to the lawyers.

Interested in hearing your thoughts on this,

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I didn't have any particular problem with the scan. It was loud but I had my earplugs in so it wasn't loud enough to cause any problems - certainly I've experienced much greater problems with my tinnitus / hearing in having my ears cleared of wax.

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Hi, iv'e had T now for about 18 months .When i had my MRI scan on my head i took some ear plugs with me and my own ear defenders with me and this cut down the noise level, but it is a very noisy procedure. Neil

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Hi KIC2

An ENT exam should be painless. My experience has been that they look in your ears. If they are blocked with wax(which shouldn't cause T)then you need them to be super careful about cleaning them. Don't expect them to find the cause because there are many things that can cause T that can't be discerned.

I had an MRI brain scan to rule out the possibility of a tumor in the inner ear. It made my T much worse and gave me hyperacusis as well. Risk versus reward????

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Yes it’s necessary also you can get true reading on the lower end of Hearing.

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