Tinnitus is the perceived sensation of sound in the absence of auditory stimulation. As many as 35-45% of the adult population and 90% of persons with hearing loss experience tinnitus at least once in awhile, but only 1% of the population suffers from a chronic tinnitus that may be problematic. The majority of individuals who suffer from tinnitus are between 40 and 80 years of age with prevalence increasing with age. It affects women and men equally. Eighty to ninety percent of tinnitus sufferers have a coexistent hearing loss
Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease, the cause of which is generally not known. There are, however, different ways to classify tinnitus, an important one being "objective" (experienced by the person and the examiner) versus "subjective" (experienced by the person alone).
Treatments and goals must be individualized for each person depending on their particular circumstances. The primary step is to treat any reversible underlying causes thereby eradicating the tinnitus. If this is not possible, then the goal is to minimize the discomfort and disability caused by the tinnitus and to develop coping strategies for the individual.
Relief of tinnitus may be obtained from medication, lifestyle and complementary interventions, and possibly surgery if needed to correct an underlying problem.
The Medifocus Guide on Tinnitus provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What is tinnitus?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing tinnitus?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of tinnitus?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of tinnitus?
What treatment options are available for the management of tinnitus?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in tinnitus?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for tinnitus?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about tinnitus?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Imaging of tinnitus: a review. Radiology. 2000
A review of evidence in support of a role for 5-HT in the perception of tinnitus. Hearing Research. 2000
Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) as a method for treatment of tinnitus and hyperacusis patients. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2000
Psychoacoustic measures of tinnitus. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2000
Neurophysiologic mechanisms of tinnitus. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2000
Similarities between severe tinnitus and chronic pain. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2000
Tinnitus in childhood. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 1999
A review of randomized clinical trials in tinnitus. Laryngoscope. 1999
Some psychological aspects of tinnitus. Perceptual & Motor Skills. 1999
Tinnitus: etiology and management. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. 1999
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