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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 guideline for guidance about suspected neurological cancers.
ENT/Audiological presentations which may include tinnitus and in which this might be relevant include, but are not limited to:
See 2WW guidelines 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 6 weeks with significant impact on QoL despite adequate self-treatment
Update on the management of tinnitus - BTA
This guideline has been signed off by the Northern Locality on behalf of NEW Devon CCG.
Publication date: November 2017