This article provides an update on tinnitus for audiologists and other clinicians who provide tinnitus-specific services. Tinnitus can be attributable to hearing loss, somatosensory system dysfunction, or auditory cortex dysfunction, with hearing loss being the most common cause and serious underlying pathologies being rare. Hearing loss does not always lead to tinnitus, and patients with tinnitus do not always suffer from hearing loss. The first scenario is explained by a so-called inhibitory gating mechanism, whereas the second assumes that all tinnitus sufferers have some degree of hearing impairment, which might not be detected in standard audiological examinations. The treatments should aim at symptomatic relief and management of associated distress. Current treatment options include pharmacotherapy, education, counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and sound therapy.
Keywords: hearing loss; tinnitus; treatment.
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