[Tinnitus from the point of view of an ENT practitioner].HNO. 2005 Apr; 53(4):364-8.HNO
Tinnitus lasting for more than 3 months is considered chronic. It is not a self-contained illness as such, but a symptom of a central information processing malfunction with individually distinguishing emotional reactions. However, it can, as chronically decompensated tinnitus, manifest itself as an ailment which is more or less pronounced in the person afflicted, and it can also, as a subjective sensation, be the symptom of an objective illness which must be excluded by differential diagnosis. In the majority of cases of chronic tinnitus, psychological components play a substantial role and must be taken into account in diagnosis. As a rule, no therapeutic impact can be made on chronic tinnitus. The doctor's target is therefore to achieve and stabilise habituation in the person afflicted so that, although the tinnitus will continue to exist, it will no longer be perceived as burdensome. Amongst the causes or contributory factors of tinnitus are dysfunctions of the upper cervical vertebral column and/or of the mandibular joints. In cases of tinnitus, these should always be diagnostically clarified and, wherever possible, eliminated to make habituation easier and to diminish the likelihood of recidivism.