SUBJECTIVE TINNITUS...... is experienced by over 50 million Americans, ten million of whom have sought relief from medical or nonmedical intervention. Subjective Tinnitus is more prevalent and differs significantly from the rare condition of Objective Tinnitus. Objective Tinnitus can be heard by others and has a different genesis than does Subjective Tinnitus. Usually, Objective Tinnitus can be treated by appropriate medical or surgical methods.
Rarely is subjective tinnitus an indication of some life threatening or debilitating disorder. However, it is imperative that a medical evaluation be undertaken to rule out the need for medical or surgical management.
By definition, subjective tinnitus is evidenced by an acoustic like sensation, usually located within the head, for which there is no external cause. It is defined in a variety of ways by those who suffer from it. Such statements as roaring, hissing, music, crickets, a cacophony of sounds, and static-like are only a few of the descriptions provided by our patients regarding this ongoing disorder.
Subjective tinnitus may be constant and unrelenting. It may be intermittent or change with respect to frequency and intensity. It may be in one or in both ears.
Two conclusions are evident. First of all, there is no general consensus as to etiology. Second, there is no general consensus of an absolute or effective treatment which cures the disorder. However, there is a need to provide treatment programs which assist the patient in coping with the problem, even though only the symptom (tinnitus) is being treated.