Tinnitus, a common complaint, reportedly affects more than 37 million Americans. Most often, it is associated with a sensorineural hearing loss in the high-frequency range. Tinnitus, however, is a symptom and not a disease. Complacency about this symptom complex may cause physicians to overlook a severe underlying pathologic process. Patients with unilateral tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus, fluctuating tinnitus, or tinnitus associated with vertigo should undergo thorough assessment, including elicitation of a complete history, physical examination, and audiologic analysis. In many instances, treatment is effective. Masking of tinnitus, medical therapy, and biofeedback and counseling are some measures that have been used in the management of tinnitus.
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