Tinnitus

Background

  • Perception of sound without external stimulation
  • Can be constant or pulsatile, high or low pitched, hissing, clicking, or ringing

Causes/Differential Diagnosis

Objective

May be heard by examiner. Less common

  • Mechanical: Enlarged eustachian tube, palatal myoclonus, stapedial muscle spasm
  • Vascular: often pulsatile

Subjective

Evaluation

  • Evaluate for emergent causes
  • Accurate/definitive diagnosis often involves referral to otolaryngology/audiometry

Management

  • Stop/minimize exposure to excessive noise and ototoxic agents
  • Outpatient management may include masking the tinnitus (e.g. with music or white noise), habituation techniques, or antidepressants

Disposition

  • Discharge unless underlying condition requires admission

See Also

External Links

References

Authors:

Claire