Our expert says:
Tinnitus is a phantom sound, usually present if there is some degree of hearing loss. Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss in itself. Tinnitus and hearing loss in one ear should always be investigated. Your ENT will firstly establish that there is no visible problem such as wax impaction, a perforated eardrum, etc. The next step is to have a hearing test (audiogram) performed by an audiologist. Contact your nearest hospital to find an audiologist in your area or you can get information from the Hearing Care specialist on the Health 24 website. If the hearing test is found to be abnormal, they will refer you to an ENT for further investigation and management. There are 2 types of hearing loss: 1. Nerve deafness which needs further investigation if only in one ear. Hearing can only be improved with a hearing aid in this instance. 2. Conductive deafness which means sounds are not transmitted adequately. Hearing can be improved with surgery in some instances or with a hearing aid.
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