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What to do if you think you have tinnitus

What to do if you think you have tinnitus

Tinnitus is a common condition that affects people differently.

If your tinnitus does not go away after a few days, it’s best to see your GP.

When to see your GP

The NHS says you should see your GP about tinnitus if:

  • you have tinnitus regularly or constantly
  • your tinnitus is getting worse
  • your tinnitus is bothering you – for example, it’s affecting your sleep or concentration
  • you have tinnitus that beats in time with your pulse.

Call 999 if you have tinnitus:

  • after a head injury
  • with sudden hearing loss, weakness in the muscles of your face, or a spinning sensation (vertigo).

What happens at the GP appointment

When you see your GP, they should ask you to describe what you hear and how often you hear it.

They’ll also ask:

  • how your tinnitus affects you
  • if you have any other symptoms, such as hearing loss or balance problems
  • if you’re taking any medication.

Make sure you explain in detail how your tinnitus is affecting you.

The GP should refer you to an NHS hearing specialist, who can:

  • do some tests
  • look into what might be causing your tinnitus
  • suggest what can help you manage it.

You can expect to wait 6 to 18 weeks for this appointment.

You also have the option of seeing a private hearing specialist who specialises in tinnitus, but you’ll need to pay for this if you don’t have private health insurance.

Read more about GP appointments for tinnitus and the referral process.

What to do if you need extra support with tinnitus

If you’re finding it hard to manage your tinnitus, see your GP, who can help you get the support you need.

You can also talk through anything that’s troubling you by contacting us or a listening service.

Free 24-hour listening services

These services offer confidential advice from trained volunteers any time of day or night. They won’t be able to provide information about tinnitus, but you can talk about anything that’s troubling you.


Call 116 123 or email for a reply within 24 hours

Shout Crisis Text Line

Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258

Contact us

If you are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus and need free confidential and impartial information and support, contact RNID.

We’re open 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Page last updated: 21 January 2022

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