Tinnitus Specialist

James C. Yee, MD -  - Otolaryngologist

James C. Yee, MD

Otolaryngologist located in Folsom, CA & Carmichael, CA

As many as one in five people in the United States suffers from tinnitus, or phantom noises in the ears. At the otolaryngology practice of James C. Yee, MD, serving patients in Folsom and Carmichael, California, Dr. Yee understands the conditions that can cause tinnitus and works with you to give you relief from ringing or roaring in your ears. To learn more, call one of the locations or schedule your appointment using the online tool.

Tinnitus Q & A

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus isn’t a diagnosis in itself. It can be, however, a symptom of another condition such as blood pressure irregularities or diabetes. In most cases, tinnitus is annoying but harmless.

Symptoms of tinnitus are the presence of noise in the form of:

  • Ringing
  • Roaring
  • Hissing
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking

The sound may be present in one ear or both. Sometimes the noise is constant, at other times it may be intermittent. The sound's decibels can vary, as well, sometimes coming on louder than at other times.

What are the types of tinnitus?

Two types of tinnitus are diagnosed:

  • Subjective tinnitus, which only you can hear
  • Objective tinnitus, which your doctor can hear as well 

Subjective tinnitus is the most common form. Objective tinnitus is a relatively rare occurrence that involves a physical malfunction in your ear.

What are the causes of tinnitus?

Age-related hearing loss is the most common cause of tinnitus. Exposure to loud noises — which leads to noise-related hearing loss — can also cause tinnitus to develop.

Other reasons for tinnitus include:

  • Damage to the nerve endings in your inner ear
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders
  • Changes in your ear bones
  • Head or neck trauma
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Certain medications
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems


Dr. Yee does a thorough evaluation of your hearing and ear, nose, and throat region to determine the underlying cause of tinnitus.

How is tinnitus treated?

To better understand the underlying cause of your tinnitus, Dr. Yee performs an extensive examination that may include X-rays, balance tests, and laboratory work. Unfortunately, in most cases, tinnitus has no readily identifiable cause, so it can be challenging to treat. Dr. Yee can offer recommendations to help you deal with tinnitus, including:

  • Alternative treatments, including acupuncture, hypnosis, or supplements
  • Hearing aids
  • TMJ treatments
  • Cochlear implants or electrical stimulation
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Medication to reduce the severity of symptoms
  • Sound therapy and noise suppression 

Lifestyle changes, such as stress reduction strategies and consuming less caffeine, can also help.

If you’re ready to better handle your tinnitus, call one of the offices of James C. Yee, MD, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.