Guideline for Cerumen Impaction Management
January 24, 2017
Wendy Gillian Ross practices urgent care medicine in Lake Grove, New York, and primary care in Patchogue, New York. Randy Danielsen is Professor and Dean, Arizona School of Health Sciences, and Director, Center for the Future of the Health Professions, both at A.T. Still University, in Mesa, Arizona. He is Physician Assistant Editor-in-Chief of Clinician Reviews.
The authors have no financial relationships to disclose.
When no underlying pathology can be identified for tinnitus, the patient should be sent for a full audiology evaluation to screen for associated hearing loss. Discussion of audiology screening tests is beyond the scope of this article; however, testing includes otoscopy, audiography, tympanography, otoacoustic emission testing, auditory brainstem-response testing, and vestibular evoked myogenic potential testing.7
Quality of life and overall emotional wellness, including cognitive function, should be investigated in patients with tinnitus. Two questionnaires commonly used in the assessment of tinnitus bother are the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and the Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire.7 In a large, systematic review, Trevis et al report that “64% of studies investigating depression found an increase in depressive symptoms in people with chronic tinnitus compared to hearing control groups, and 62% of studies investigating anxiety reported significantly increased anxiety symptoms.”5
Tinnitus management should be viewed two ways: treatment of perceived loudness and treatment of comorbid symptoms relating to tinnitus bother.6 In the same meta-analysis, Trevis and colleagues found that patients with tinnitus had higher rates of anxiety, depression, and overall decline in cognitive function, including processing speed, concentration, and sleep disorders.5 It is useful to keep this observation in mind when reviewing treatment options for tinnitus.
Five classic pharmacotherapeutic approaches to tinnitus management are
Newer medications that show some promise are N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists, notably neramexane. Alternative pharmaceuticals include vitamin-based treatments, cannabinoids, and herbal compounds.
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Diagnosing and treating dysphonia
January 24, 2017