Tinnitus Management in Private Practice

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Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science

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Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound in the absence of an external auditory stimulus. Approximately 50 million people in the general population report experiencing some form of tinnitus; however, a very small percentage of this population experience tinnitus that is bothersome to the point of seeking intervention. Currently, there are several evidence-based tinnitus management approaches audiologists are qualified to provide. Unfortunately, few audiologists provide tinnitus treatment, and therefore, it can be difficult for patients to find services. Treatment may require several lengthy appointments over the course of several months, which may present as challenging for the private practice audiologist who wishes to provide services that are cost-effective for both patients and the business. The primary purpose of this document is to review commonly used tinnitus management approaches and the evidence to support their use with the intent to aid audiologists in determining which approaches benefit their patients and could fit within their business model. A secondary purpose is to provide audiologists in private practice with ideas on how incorporation of tinnitus services into the operation of their practice can be accomplished efficiently and effectively.