Grand Rounds  |   June 2008
Establishing a Tinnitus Clinic in Your Practice
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard S. Tyler
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • George B. Haskell
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Stephanie A. Gogel
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Anne K. Gehringer
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Contact author: Richard S. Tyler, University of Iowa, Department of Otolaryngology, 200 Hawkins Drive, 21167 PFP, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail: rich-tyler@uiowa.edu.
Hearing Disorders
Grand Rounds   |   June 2008
Establishing a Tinnitus Clinic in Your Practice
American Journal of Audiology June 2008, Vol.17, 25-37. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/004)
History: Accepted 28 Dec 2007 , Received 04 Oct 2006 , Revised 17 Jul 2007
American Journal of Audiology June 2008, Vol.17, 25-37. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2008/004)
History: Accepted 28 Dec 2007 , Received 04 Oct 2006 , Revised 17 Jul 2007

Purpose: While tinnitus is very common among the hearing impaired population, specific treatment for tinnitus is not provided in most clinics. This article provides a plan for establishing a tinnitus treatment program that can be implemented in stages at most audiology clinics.

Method: Preparation for establishing a tinnitus clinic includes having an overall plan regarding the type and degree of tinnitus management. Assessment involves a measurement of tinnitus and of the reaction a patient has to the tinnitus, including the use of handicap questionnaires. Management typically involves some form of counseling and sound therapy. Four problematic areas in tinnitus management are thoughts and emotions, hearing and communication, sleep, and concentration.

Conclusions: Licensed audiologists generally have the essential training necessary to provide counseling and sound therapy to treat tinnitus patients. We introduce 3 levels of treatment implementation, depending on whether the patient is curious, concerned, or distressed. Follow-up and referrals might be necessary in more severe cases. Finally, the development of a tinnitus clinic centers around establishing a need for individual treatment, creating a treatment plan, estimating the need for additional staff and resources, reimbursement options, and assessing the effectiveness of the program.

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