Background: Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound in the absence of a corresponding external acoustic stimulus. It is a common problem that markedly impairs the quality of life of about 1% of the general population.
Materials and Methods: We selectively reviewed the pertinent literature to provide an overview of the current treatment options for chronic tinnitus.
Tinnitus is the perception of sound without external stimulation. It can greatly affect a patient’s physical and psychological quality of life. Clinical history taking is directed at eliciting whether symptoms have a pulsatile or nonpulsatile quality, whether symptoms are unilateral or bilateral, and whether there is associated hearing loss. For tinnitus that is pulsatile or unilateral, referral to an otolaryngologist is recommended, as these qualities might be associated with more serious underlying conditions. Most
patients with tinnitus can be managed with reassurance, conservative measures, and hearing aids if substantial hearing loss exists.
Conclusion: Family physicians play the primary role in managing patients with tinnitus and are well situated to address both the physiologic and the psychological manifestations. As tinnitus is very common, helping patients cope with the symptoms through conservative measures and reassurance can prove to have the best outcomes.
Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Quality of life.