Tinnitus: A Stepchild in Our Specialty

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2018 Oct;159(4):599-600. doi: 10.1177/0194599818785146. Epub 2018 Jul 3.


Many patients are not satisfied with their doctor's answer when they complain about tinnitus. The proposed classification can be used to communicate with patients as well as guide future research. Type A itemizes the treatable causes of tinnitus. Type B itemizes tinnitus with a lack of medical explanation. Type C tinnitus is caused by diagnosable and treatable conditions, as listed in tinnitus type A, but the tinnitus persists after the successful treatment of the other symptoms.

Keywords: humming (in the ear); noise (in the ear); pulsation (in the ear); ringing (in the ear); tinnitus.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Otitis Media / complications*
  • Otitis Media / diagnosis
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / complications*
  • Otitis Media with Effusion / diagnosis
  • Otolaryngology / classification*
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tinnitus / etiology*
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology
  • Tinnitus / psychology