Subjective tinnitus assessment and treatment in clinical practice : the necessity of personalized medicine
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Current opinion in otolaryngology & head & neck surgery
, p. 369-375
University of Antwerp
Purpose of review: Subjective tinnitus can be triggered by a variety of causes, and therefore tinnitus patients constitute a very heterogeneous population difficult to manage. In this article, we reviewed the current literature to present our conceptual model of the conscious auditory percept and tinnitus − based on experimental research − in order to explain the clinical approach to the individual tinnitus patient. Recent findings: Fundamental research has provided evidence to support the neurophysiological model of tinnitus developed by Jastreboff. By manipulating the limbic, autonomic and auditory systems, tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) aims to reduce the response to the abnormal stimulus. Evidence has confirmed the effectiveness of TRT and cognitive behavioral therapy in reducing the negative impact of subjective tinnitus on the patients quality of life. Summary: Every patient with subjective tinnitus has its unique tinnitus profile which provides a guide to the necessary combination of therapeutic actions. Evidence suggests the multidisciplinary approach combining etiological therapy as well as TRT, and cognitive behavioral therapy in specialized clinics is not only effective in reducing the patient's quality of life but also cost-effective from a healthcare and societal point of view.