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This guideline covers the diagnosis and management of tinnitus in adult patients.
Virtually all adults will experience tinnitus at some point in their life, this is usually self-limiting. Bilateral tinnitus is almost never associated with significant pathology.
See 2WW guidelines in formulary for guidance about suspected head and neck cancers
Persistent unilateral tinnitus with or without vertigo, hearing loss or other symptoms may sometimes represent acoustic neuroma, and certainly warrants investigation. However, acoustic neuroma is a benign and slow-growing tumour which does not require investigation via a 2WW pathway. It is also rare: only 2% of patients with unilateral tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss are found to have an acoustic neuroma on MRI.
Troublesome or intrusive Tinnitus for more than 16 weeks with significant impact on QoL despite adequate self-treatment
Audiology referrals should be sent to Chime Audiology as paper referrals as this service is not provided on e-Referral Service:
e-Referral Service Selection
Update on the management of tinnitus - BTA
This guideline has been developed by Royal Devon and Exeter Healthcare Foundation Trust based on local guidelines.
This guideline has been signed off by the Eastern Locality on behalf of NEW Devon CCG.
Publication date: July 2017
Review date: June 2019