Best Way to Find Tinnitus Sound, Pitch, and Loudness

Let’s describe the process for tinnitus pitch matching and loudness matching so you can find your tinnitus sound.

In this article, we will assume the patient has bilateral tonal tinnitus (one tone, no static noise or other types of sounds), perceived as more prominent in the right ear than the left. 

You can find the pitch of your tinnitus using this online video:

Best Practices to Find Your Tinnitus Sound

This is the best practice for tinnitus pitch and loudness matching. It is best performed in an audiology booth with insert foam earphones. That way you can match your tinnitus sound.

Pitch matching will begin using an insert earphone in this patient’s left ear. The pitch matching tone will be presented contralateral to the side with the loudest tinnitus.

A two-alternative forced choice method will be used to match the tinnitus tone with the nearest audiometric frequency. The presentation level will be audible (>=10 dB SL) above the patient’s audiometric threshold at that frequency.


Tinnitus Loudness Matching

Loudness matching uses a pure tone stimulus and occurs after pitch matching. Loudness matching should also be presented to the ear contralateral to the louder tinnitus.

An ascending method begins softer than the patient’s threshold at the nearest audiometric frequency and increases in loudness in one or two dB steps. Loudness matching can be reported in dB SL once the patient reports that the pure tone stimulus is equal in loudness to their tinnitus.

This is the best way to scientifically gather data on an individual’s tinnitus loudness and pitch. Most tinnitus therapies do not depend on this data for effective management.

Dr. Ben Thompson, Au.D.

Dr. Ben Thompson, Au.D.

Dr. Ben Thompson is an audiologist in California and founder of Pure Tinnitus. Dr. Thompson has a comprehensive knowledge of tinnitus management. He completed his residency at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and is a past board member of the California Academy of Audiology. Via telehealth, Dr. Thompson provides services to patients with hearing loss and tinnitus.

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