J Korean Med Assoc.  2002 Jul;45(7):895-906. 10.5124/jkma.2002.45.7.895.



Tinnitus is a perception of sound without external stimuli. The increase of noise from industrialization, complex psychological state, increase of old age people, and excessive medication make tinnitus a more common disease than ever before. However, the knowledge regarding diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus is still limited. Tinnitus can be categorized into paraauditory tinnitus and sensory neural tinnitus. Paraauditory tinnitus may occur from the sound generated by the vessel near the ear such as an arteriovenous fistula, abnormal vessel, a tumor around vessel, palatal myoclonus, and patent E tube. Sensory neural tinnitus can arise from senile hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss, sudden deafness, sensorineural hearing loss associated with chronic otitis media, excessive medication, and so on. But there are many cases in which the specific cause cannot be defined. Diagnosis needs thorough history taking, physical examination, and radiologic and audiologic examination. Treatments for the paraauditory tinnitus are vessel ligation or coil embolization of arteriovenous fistula and removal of the causative factors. Although there are many treatment modalities for managing sensory neural tinnitus, a standardized treatment modality has not been established. Sensory neural tinnitus can be managed with tinnitus retraing therapy and electrical stimulation therapy. Although tinnitus is essentially not a life-treatening disease, advancing quality of life and the increasing number of patients with tinnitus mandate health-care providers to be more concerned with the disease tinnitus.


Tinnitus; Classification; Etiology; Diagnosis; Treatment
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