viernes, 5 de febrero de 2010

Tinnitus - Guidelines for Primary Care

December 2009 © British Tinnitus Association
This information is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always see your GP / medical professional

Tinnitus is extremely common: approximately one third of the population have some tinnitus experience, but only about 3% have troublesome tinnitus.

Most cases are associated with aural pathology; mainly presbyacusis or noise induced hearing loss.

Serious pathology is rare as a cause of tinnitus, but unilateral tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus and tinnitus in association with vertigo should be referred for investigation.

Most ENT departments now have Audiology or hearing therapy staff who are specifically trained in the management of tinnitus and modern treatment modalities help the majority of people with tinnitus.

What can you do to help?
Examine the ears; to ascertain whether there is wax or other problems, such as an infection or middle ear fluid.
Explain that tinnitus is quite common, especially in adults.
Give positive encouragement. For instance: “Spontaneous disappearance is possible”
“It is most unlikely to get worse”,“Improvement is usual”,“There are means of helping such as learning relaxation techniques”,“There is information and support from various organisations”.
Do not offer negative counselling. Avoid using words and phrases such as ‘incurable’, ‘permanent’ or ‘you’ve got to live with it’. These will only worsen the patient’s perception of his or her tinnitus.
Encourage the patient to take their attention away from the tinnitus (eg. radio, CD or cassette player).
Offer advice on the local availability of relaxation training and stress counselling.
Suggest that leisure activities such as sports, going for walks and yoga can also help.
Check if there is a Tinnitus Self Help Group in your area. These Groups conduct regular meetings and are affiliated to the British Tinnitus Association.

In addition to those patients with balance problems, unilateral tinnitus or pulsatile tinnitus, patients more likely to require referral to an ENT Consultant or Audiological Physician include the following:
those with accompanying hearing difficulties;
in cases where the tinnitus has become progressively louder or more intrusive;
where there is no clear diagnosis;
when patients request a specialist opinion and in cases when additional therapy, counselling or diagnostic investigation is needed or requested.
The British Tinnitus Association
Ground Floor, Unit 5
Acorn Business Park
Woodseats Close
Sheffield S8 0TB
Freephone : 0800 018 0527
Office Line : 0114 250 9933
Minicom : 0114 258 5694
Fax : 0114 258 2279
Email :
Website :
Company Limited by Guarantee No : 2709302
Registered Charity No : 1011145

The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) is a national charitable organisation, which supports a network of self-help groups and contacts. The Association provides information and advice to help people understand and come to terms with tinnitus. Environmental sound and relaxation CDs and audiotapes are also available. Counselling training courses are run for professionals and lay people who deal with tinnitus patients. The Association sponsors tinnitus research projects and holds an annual conference. Members pay an annual subscription and receive Quiet, the Association’s quarterly journal.
British Tinnitus Association Registered charity no: 1011145 Freephone: 0800 018 0527 Website:
Patron: The Duchess of Devonshire DL President: The Rt Hon Sir Stephen Sedley
Vice Presidents: Jack Shapiro Stephanie Beacham Geoffrey Bates OBE

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