The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation has released the first ever mutli-disciplinary, evidence-based clinical practice guideline to improve the diagnosis and management of tinnitus, the perception of sound—often ringing—without an external sound source. The guideline was published today in the journal Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.
"Tinnitus affects 10-15% of adults in the United States. It is the most common service-related disability among our military veterans. Yet despite its prevalence and effect on quality of life, prior to this there weren't any evidence-based guidelines about managing tinnitus," said Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, a co-author of the guideline.
One of the strongest recommendations in the guideline is that clinicians differentiate between bothersome tinnitus and nonbothersome tinnitus. "About 20% of adults who experience tinnitus require clinical intervention, the rest are experiencing nonbothersome tinnitus," explained Dr. Chandrasekhar.
The guideline, developed by a panel including representatives for otolaryngologists, geriatricians, primary care physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, behavioral neuroscientists, neurologists, radiologists, audiologists, psychoacousticians, and tinnitus patients, gives healthcare providers a framework for care and support in mitigating the personal and social impact that tinnitus can have. The guideline's recommendations are made by experienced clinicians and methodologists, according to the best scientific evidence.
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