Not entirely happy with GP: I visited... - British Tinnitus ...

British Tinnitus Association

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Not entirely happy with GP

Playdough profile image

I visited my GP to obtain advice and diagnosis regarding tinnitus. I have had symptoms of tinnitus for many years but never officially diagnosed. I explained to my GP that the ringing sounds in my ears have become more pronounced it is now interrupting my sleep and concentration, and that I am experiencing a cracking sound in both ears everytime I swallow, yawn etc.

I was expecting that my GP might examine my ears, but this did not happen. My GP just explained that there is nothing that can be done, and that I should consider white noise to assist with sleep.

I was just wondering if it is normal practice not to examine the ears, and if I should seek further advice as my symptoms are troubling me somewhat

7 Replies

I found that my GP didn't know much about Tinnitus which seems to be common and of recent I'm thinking the same with my ENT.

It's very strange they didn't even check your ears. I think generally the norm is they send you tO ENT who refers you to hearing test.

Go back and demand morehelp.

Hi there,

They should refer you to an ENT specialist but GPs are in control of budgets and are under pressure not to spend. NHS on it's knees here. Every time a GP refers, it is costing. You have a right to be referred. You have to push or change GP. It is true that many ENT departments cannot be of great help. I have finally got CBT to help cope, on the NHS but I went through the stress and anxiety route. I have pulsatile tinnitus that nobody can understand!

The BTA produced a information sheet for GP's, which was designed in part I believe for patients to take in to their GP. You might get a frosty reception, as you'd effectively be telling them how to do their job, but they are public servants after all. Go back and bang on the desk (metaphorically).

hi playdough. ive had T for nearly 6 years now but i had a great doc who has sadly left and she was rght on the ball . the first thing she did was to examine the ears then sent me for an m.r.i.scan, ive had other docs examoine them too if only to check the wax. the atitude that nothing can be done is typical of the vast majority of g.p,s . i assume thats down to a complete disinterest in tinnitus and very bad training even though, he should have at least had alook in your ears with that device with the light on it. to check for wax. i would get bak and get another doc and demand an ear examination. stay strong.craw.

Hi there. Your GP should examine your ears and diagnosed your symptoms. If your ringing does not stop your GP would refer you to ENT for further test. Do come back and insist to see an ENT so that you will be examined thoroughly.

Had to go to the DRS 3 times trying various things 3wks breathing steam,3wks putting ear drops in to the affected ear only on the 3rd visit did I get referred to the ENT

The Dr should have checked your ear as too much wax can Cause tinnitus

NicBTA profile image

Ruudboy1 mentioned an information sheet for GPs. If anyone would like a copy to give to their GP, you can download it at or contact us and we can send you copies.

I've given copies to my practice and I haven't had my file marked as "member of the the awkward squad" so give it a go!

Nic (BTA Communications Manager and Forum Administrator)

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