Subjective idiopathic tinnitus.Clin Excell Nurse Pract. 1998 Mar; 2(2):73-82.CE
One out of every five individuals experiences tinnitus. Tinnitus is the tenth most common presenting complaint among the elderly in primary care. Although tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss, chronic noise exposure, and medications, its etiology frequently goes undetected. Diagnosis of subjective idiopathic tinnitus is established by a comprehensive health history, physical examination, and office and laboratory diagnostic assessments. Patients who suffer from this chronic symptom report a dwindling in their quality of life, primarily because of the annoyance factor associated with tinnitus. Activities of daily living are affected in proportion to the intensity of the tinnitus. Examples of nonpharmacologic management include hearing aids for those with hearing loss, hypnotherapy, counseling, and masking. A number of medications have demonstrated some efficacy in the treatment of tinnitus. Ultimately, the practitioner is concerned with helping the individual live with subjective idiopathic tinnitus by promoting self-care activities to improve both physical and mental-emotional health.