A triage guide for tinnitus James A. Henry, PhD;
Tara L. Zaugg, AuD;
Paula J. Myers, PhD;
Caroline J. Kendall, PhD;

Ringing in the ears may be symptomatic of a serious Elias M. Michaelides, MD
condition—or it may be benign. Th is guide can help you Veterans Affairs RR&D National Center for tell the diff erence. Rehabilitative Auditory Research, VA Medical Center, Portland, Ore (Drs. Henry and Zaugg); Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Oregon Health & Science "Doctor, I have this ringing in my ears." University, Portland (Dr. Henry); James A. Haley PRACTICE
VA Hospital, Tampa, Fla › Let patients know that they can learn to manage their W ith an estimated 10% to 15% of adults experi- (Dr. Myers); encing chronic tinnitus,1 most primary care VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven (Drs. physicians are familiar with this complaint. Th Kendall and Michaelides); reactions to tinnitus with prevalence of tinnitus increases with age and with exposure Department of Psychiatry methods that include stress to high levels of noise—the most commonly reported cause.1 (Dr. Kendall) and Department of Surgery- reduction, therapeutic sound, With people living longer and such "toxic" noise levels on the Otolaryngology (Dr. and coping skills. A
rise, tinnitus is a condition you can expect to encounter even Michaelides), Yale School › Refer patients with tinnitus more frequently.
of Medicine, New Haven, Conn to an audiologist for a hear- Despite the prevalence of tinnitus, however, there are no ing evaluation, assessment of clinical standards or best practice guidelines for managing it. the tinnitus, and, if indicated, us, many physicians are uncertain about what to tell pa- The authors reported no support in learning to man- tients with this distressing disorder, and when (or whether) to potential confl ict of interest age reactions to tinnitus. A
refer them to specialists. So patients are sometimes told that relevant to this article.Give patients with suicidal "nothing can be done" and that they simply must "learn to ideation or extreme anxiety live with" tinnitus.
or depression in response Such negative messages from a trusted physician can have to tinnitus a same-day a detrimental eff ect, causing some patients to stop seeking referral to a mental health help and to become increasingly disturbed by tinnitus.2 What's professional. A
more, these messages are untrue. Some conditions that result › Provide an urgent refer- in tinnitus can be treated. And, although tinnitus itself cannot ral to an otolaryngologist or normally be cured, there are numerous interventions and edu- emergency care if you suspect cational strategies that can help patients change their reactions sudden sensorineural hearing to—and learn to cope with—the ringing in their ears. We de- loss or another urgent medi- veloped this evidence-based review and tinnitus triage guide cal condition. A
(TABLE 1) to help family physicians respond appropriately to
Strength of recommendation (SOR)
this distressing, but common, condition.
Good-quality patient-oriented B Inconsistent or limited-quality
Is it transient noise, or tinnitus?
C Consensus, usual practice,
Virtually everyone experiences "transient ear noise," which opinion, disease-oriented is usually described as a whistling sound accompanied by evidence, case series a sensation of sudden temporary hearing loss.3,4 Th pathic episodes are usually unilateral, and often accompa-nied by a feeling of ear blockage.
VOL 59, NO 7 JULY 2010 THE JOURNAL OF FAMILY PRACTICE Tinnitus triage guide27 Status/considerations Has neural defi cits such as facial Otolaryngology or ED weakness, head trauma, or other urgent medical condition Has unexplained sudden Audiology and otolaryngology Emergency; must see audiologist prior to otolaryngologist on same day Expresses suicidal ideation or Mental health or ED May be emergency; manifests obvious mental illness report suicide ideation; provide escort, if necessary Has any of the following: Otolaryngology and audiology Urgent; schedule • symptoms suggestive of otolaryngology exam as soon somatic origin of tinnitus (eg, tinnitus that pulses with heartbeat) • persistent otalgia or otorrhea There is no
• vestibular symptoms (eg, prescription
drug specifi cally

Has symptoms that suggest Audiology and otolaryngology Nonurgent; schedule audiology for tinnitus, but
a neurophysiologic origin of exam before patient sees tinnitus without: otolaryngologist • ear pain, drainage, or or anxiolytics
may relieve
• vestibular symptoms associated
• sudden hearing loss symptoms of
• facial weakness or paralysis ED, emergency department.
To distinguish between tinnitus—the (somatic) processes.6 perception of sound that is produced inter- e ringing may be relatively soft; in nally, rather than by an external stimulus— some cases, it can be heard only in quiet en- and transient ear noise, consider the duration vironments or while the patient is trying to and frequency. Transient ear noise generally sleep. In others, the tinnitus may be constant, disappears within seconds (and does not re- interfering with concentration and daily ac- quire diagnostic testing or treatment). Tin- tivities, as well as sleep. In the most severe nitus, which can have a variety of underlying cases, tinnitus may be associated with severe pathologies, is defi ned as ear or head noise depression and anxiety, even to the point of that lasts at least 5 minutes and occurs at least suicidal ideation.7 Notably, however, the loudness or other perceptual characteristics of tinnitus do not necessarily indicate the degree to which it is Neurophysiologic tinnitus
a problem for the patient.7 Although patients is most common
often report that tinnitus interferes with Neurophysiologic (sensorineural) tinnitus, their hearing, they usually also have hear-which originates within the auditory nervous ing loss, which an audiologic evaluation will system, accounts for the vast majority of cas- e pathology exists anywhere between Certain medications can trigger or exac- the cochlea and the auditory cortex, and ex- erbate tinnitus, including aspirin, nonsteroi- cludes any sounds generated by mechanical dal anti-infl ammatory drugs, loop diuretics, TRIAGE GUIDE FOR TINNITUS
and quinine.2 Fairly high doses are usually required to cause tinnitus, however, and the Managing neurophysiologic tinnitus: eff ects are typically temporary. Patients have A range of options2,5,25-27 also reported exacerbation of tinnitus due to alcohol, salt, and caff eine intake. Ototoxicity from aminoglycosides and platinum-con- Elimination of tinnitus-inducing medications (eg, NSAIDs, loop diuretics, taining chemotherapeutic drugs is a well- known cause of hearing loss and tinnitus, but these eff ects are often irreversible.10,11 Hearing aids, sound generators, or other sound devices Neurophysiologic tinnitus is gener- Lifestyle modifi cations (eg, improve sleep hygiene, exercise regularly, limit ally not serious from a medical standpoint. While all patients with this condition should Medication (antidepressants or anxiolytics) undergo an audiologic exam and hearing evaluation, only about 20% of adults who Patient education that stresses that there are numerous techniques that experience tinnitus require intervention.12-14 can be used to manage reactions to tinnitus Although there is no cure, patients with clini- Stress reduction techniques (eg, imagery, meditation, and deep breathing cally signifi cant tinnitus can be taught stress management and therapeutic use of sound Therapeutic sound (eg, using interesting sound to direct attention away techniques, as well as lifestyle modifi cations from tinnitus, low-level background sound to reduce auditory contrast, (TABLE 2) to minimize its detrimental eff ects.
and soothing sound for relief) NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-infl ammatory drugs.
Somatic tinnitus may be serious
Somatic tinnitus, also known as somato-
sound, refers to the perception of sound that
Unilateral tinnitus is a red fl ag
originates within the body—in vascular, mus- In most cases, tinnitus is bilateral. Unilateral cular, skeletal, or respiratory structures, or in tinnitus may indicate a more serious medi- the temporomandibular joint.4 Th cal condition. It is a common presenting sounds" have an internal acoustic source.9 sign of both vestibular schwannoma (also ❚ Pulsatile tinnitus, which pulses in syn-
known as acoustic neuroma) and Meniere's chrony with the heartbeat, is the most common somatosound.15,16 Most patients with pulsatile Patients with unilateral tinnitus should tinnitus have benign venous "hums," but seri- receive a hearing test as soon as possible; ous conditions such as arteriovenous malfor- if asymmetric hearing loss is found, MRI is mations, glomus tumors, and carotid stenosis indicated, both with and without contrast of must be considered. Auscultation over the neck the internal auditory canal, to rule out ves- and temporal bone may reveal bruits that can tibular schwannoma.
help localize the lesion. We recommend either ❚ Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hear-
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head ing loss (ISSNHL), which may be associated
or computed tomography (CT) angiography, with new onset unilateral tinnitus, should be accompanied by timely referral to an otolaryn- considered an otologic emergency. When you gologist for a focused evaluation.15,17,18 suspect ISSNHL, you'll need to make a same- ❚ Somatosounds can also be non-
day referral for an otologic examination.
pulsatile, indicating a nonvascular source.
If left untreated, the ISSNHL and as- Examples of nonvascular somatosounds in- sociated tinnitus will resolve partially or clude middle-ear muscle spasms and eusta- completely at least 50% of the time. Th chian tube dysfunction. Nonpulsatile somatic recovery rate may be improved with gluco- tinnitus is rarely progressive or dangerous. It corticoid treatments.19 Prompt initiation of is reasonable to off er reassurance to patients corticosteroid therapy can be a factor in the with nonpulsatile tinnitus, followed by a re- chances of recovery—the more rapidly such ferral to an otolaryngologist if the symptoms patients are seen and treated, the better their interfere with daily activities.
VOL 59, NO 7 JULY 2010 THE JOURNAL OF FAMILY PRACTICE Tinnitus triage: Key points
using a validated questionnaire such as the Following our triage guide (TABLE 1) should Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, for the initial
result in appropriate care in most cases. Here
assessment and to monitor changes in the se- are some considerations to keep in mind: verity of the tinnitus as an outcome measure ❚ Urgent medical referral. Any patient of therapy.24
with tinnitus and symptoms suggestive of serious underlying treatable pathology re-quires an urgent otolaryngology referral. Th Enlist an interdisciplinary team
includes ISSNHL, which you should suspect For patients with somatic tinnitus, the treat-whenever a patient reports an unexplained ment—and the specialist who provides it—decrease in hearing, as well as pulsatile tinni- depends on the underlying cause. A patient tus, vestibular symptoms, and long-standing who has unilateral tinnitus may be referred ear pain, drainage, or malodor that does not by an audiologist or otolaryngologist to a resolve with routine treatment. If possible, neurologist, for example, if he or she is found such patients should undergo an audiologic to have Meniere's disease; a patient with pul-assessment prior to the otolaryngology visit; satile tinnitus may be sent back to his or her however, the otolaryngology exam is the pri- primary care physician after diagnostic test- mary concern.
ing has ruled out serious causes.
Facial paralysis, severe vertigo, or sudden For patients with neurophysiologic tinni- Idiopathic
onset pulsatile tinnitus can indicate a seri- tus (and any patient with untreatable somatic ous intracranial condition. Th ese symptoms tinnitus), a well-organized interdisciplinary may point to cerebrovascular disease or neo- team that includes the family physician, an hearing loss
plasm, and should be treated as an otologic audiologist, and a psychologist is the best should be
e variety of available manage- treated as
Mental health referral. Some tinnitus
ment options (TABLE 2) incorporate medical
an otologic
patients require a mental health assessment, approaches, complementary and alterna- either because of obvious manifestations of tive treatments, psychological interventions, a mental illness or because of expressed sui- and sound-based methods. Lifestyle modi- cidal ideation. If there's a question about the fi cations, such as improved sleep hygiene, patient's mental health, consider consulting regular exercise, and dietary modifi cations, with a mental health provider or using basic may help, as well.25-27 First-line strategies screening tools for anxiety and depression to help determine the need for referral, as well ❚ Adjusting medications. Eliminating
as the urgency.12 tinnitus-inducing medications, if medically Some patients experience extreme anxi- safe, is a common starting point. No prescrip- ety or depression in response to tinnitus tion drug has been developed specifi cally for and should be referred to a mental health tinnitus. But some antidepressants or anx-professional on the day they present with iolytics (eg, amitriptyline or lorazepam) are symptoms. Suicidal ideation warrants special commonly used to address coexisting sleep attention, of course—possibly including the and mental health disorders—primarily de-need to escort the patient to the emergency pression and anxiety—that may be associated department or to a behavioral specialist.21-23 with, or exacerbated by, tinnitus.28-30 ❚ Nonurgent medical referral. Ideally,
Addressing hearing problems. Pa-
all patients who present with tinnitus should tients should undergo a hearing evaluation see an audiologist and an otolaryngologist, and receive help in managing a hearing prob-but those who have no serious symptoms lem, if necessary. Hearing aids improve hear-should be referred on a nonurgent basis. Such ing and reduce the perception of tinnitus.31 patients need to have a comprehensive hear- ❚ Using therapeutic sound. Some audiol-
ing evaluation—ideally, before they see the ogists are trained to implement various forms otolaryngologist so the test results are avail- of sound-based therapy. Tinnitus retraining able at the time of the exam. Th therapy involves the use of background sound should also assess the severity of the tinnitus, to facilitate habituation to tinnitus; tinnitus TRIAGE GUIDE FOR TINNITUS
masking involves the use of soothing sound we have been successful in teaching patients to provide a sense of relief. Progressive tin- to manage their reactions to tinnitus—result- nitus management is a more recent method ing in a better quality of life—using a combi-that educates patients in the use of all types nation of educational counseling, therapeutic of therapeutic sound.32 Th ese sound-based methods often include the use of hearing aids, sound generators, and other devices.
Funding for this work was provided by Veterans Health Ad-
Circling in a mental health profession-
ministration, and Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research al. It is essential to involve psychologists or
and Development (RR&D) Service (C4488R). Thanks to Robert Folmer, PhD, William Martin, PhD, Dennis Trune, PhD, and other mental health specialists in the care of Baker Shi, MD, PhD, for advice that contributed to this man- patients with clinically signifi cant tinnitus to uscript. Special thanks to Martin Schechter, PhD, for his sig-nifi cant contributions to our research. The authors also wish ensure that psychological and other barriers to thank Stephen Fausti, PhD, and Sara Ruth Oliver, AuD, for to successful management of the condition their consistent support of our research.
are identifi ed and addressed. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to CORRESPONDENCE
James A. Henry, PhD, VA Medical Center (NCRAR), Post
be helpful for patients with tinnitus.33 In fact, Offi ce Box 1034, Portland, OR 97207; A good resource
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JB, ed. Tinnitus: Th eory and Management. Lewiston, NY: BC 16. Sismanis A. Pulsatile tinnitus. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. for patients
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Tinnitus Retraining Th erapy: Imple- 17. Sismanis A. Pulsatile tinnitus. In: Vernon JA, ed. Tinnitus menting the Neurophysiological Model. New York: Cambridge Treatment and Relief. Needham Heights, Mass: Allyn & Ba- Tinnitus
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3. Kiang NYS, Moxon EC, Levine RA. Auditory-nerve activity in 18. Wackym PA, Friedland DR. Otologic evaluation. In: Snow cats with normal and abnormal cochleas. In: Wolstenholme JB, ed. Tinnitus: Th eory and Management. Lewiston, NY: BC GEW, Knight J, eds. Sensorineural Hearing Loss. London: J. & Decker Inc; 2004:205-219.
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Speech Lang Hear Res. 2005;48:1204-1235.
20. Jeyakumar A, et al. Treatment of idiopathic sudden sensori- 5. Dauman R, Tyler RS. Some considerations on the classifi ca- neural hearing loss. Acta Otolaryngol. 2006;126:708-713.
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6. Hazell J. Incidence, classifi cation, and models of tinnitus. In: Hawton K. Studying survivors of nearly lethal suicide at- Ludman H, Wright T, eds. Diseases of the Ear. London: Arnold; tempts: an important strategy in suicide research. Suicide Life reat Behav. 2001;32(1 suppl):76-84.
7. Dobie RA. Overview: suff ering from tinnitus. In: Snow JB, ed. 23. Kessler RC, Borges G, Walters EE. Prevalence of and risk fac- Tinnitus: Th eory and Management. Lewiston, NY: BC Decker tors for lifetime suicide attempts in the National Comorbidity Inc; 2004:1-7.
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8. Zaugg TL, et al. Diffi culties caused by patients' misconcep- 24. Newman CW, Sandridge SA, Jacobson GP. Psychometric ad- tions that hearing problems are due to tinnitus. In: Patuzzi R, equacy of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) for evaluat- ed. Proceedings of the Seventh International Tinnitus Seminar. ing treatment outcome. J Am Acad Audiol. 1998;9:153-160.
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Immediateearly function of neoss implants placed in maxillas and posterior mandibles: an 18month prospective case series study

Immediate/Early Function of Neoss ImplantsPlaced in Maxillas and Posterior Mandibles:An 18-Month Prospective Case Series StudyLeonardo Vanden Bogaerde, MD, DDS;* Giorgio Pedretti, MD, DDS;† Lars Sennerby, DDS, PhD;‡Neil Meredith, DDS, PhD§ Background: An increasing number of studies show that immediate/early function of dental implants can be as successfulas two-stage procedures. However, the results may not be universal for all implant types and it is important that newimplants are tested for this treatment modality.

« Un monde meilleur pour tous : projet réaliste ou rêve insensé ? » Sous la Direction de J.P. Changeux et J. Reisse, 2008, pages 46-98, Odile Jacob, Paris. Quel avenir pour la Biodiversité ? Gilles Boeuf, Laboratoire Arago, Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls, UMR « Modèles en biologie cellulaire et évolutive », Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6/CNRS, et Réserve Naturelle de la Massane, Banyuls-sur-mer, France, Le mot « biodiversité » (en anglais, biodiversity), contraction de « diversité biologique », a été créé en 1985 par l'écologue WG Rosen à l'occasion du National Forum on Biodiversity mis en place par la Smithsonian Institution et la National Academy of Sciences des Etats Unis puis utilisé par l'entomologiste américain EO Wilson à partir de 1986. Son sens peut être bien différemment interprété selon les situations ou les champs d'activités des différents usagers, qu'ils soient biologistes, systématiciens, écologues, agronomes, industriels, économistes, sociologues, politiques, philosophes, grand public… Ainsi, ce terme est souvent assimilé généralement à la diversité spécifique, c'est à dire l'ensemble des espèces vivantes, bactéries, protistes (unicellulaires), fungi (« champignons »), végétaux et animaux d'un milieu, par exemple une prairie tempérée, une forêt tropicale, une baie côtière, une source hydrothermale profonde, une falaise rocheuse, un mètre cube de terre végétale ou d'eau de mer au large, une grotte souterraine, un lac d'altitude, une surface de désert sableux… On parle de diversité biologique élevée ou faible d'un type spécifique d'écosystème. Mais en fait la biodiversité est bien plus que la seule diversité spécifique, incluant à la fois les espèces et leur abondance relative. Mais en pratique, l'espèce est commode d'utilisation, elle peut être assimilée à une sorte « d'unité de monnaie » identifiable et comptabilisable et donc aisée à utiliser. Qu'est ce que la biodiversité ? Pour le biologiste, trois niveaux se distinguent, les diversités génétique, organismique et écologique (les gènes, les espèces, les écosystèmes). Si l'espèce est le niveau taxinomique privilégié (description et reconnaissance), l'ultima ratio de la diversité biologique, précise J Blondel (2005), est l'information génétique que contient chaque unité élémentaire de diversité, qu'il s'agisse d'un individu, d'une espèce ou d'une population. Ceci détermine son histoire, passée, présente et future. Même, cette histoire est déterminée par des processus qui sont eux-mêmes des composantes de la biodiversité. Et celle-ci, au sens large d'aujourd'hui, dépasse encore ce cadre (Purvis et Hector, 2000), nous le verrons au cours de ce chapitre. Le terme regroupe de nombreuses significations différentes et peut recouvrir des interprétations aussi diverses que la diversité biologique d'une forêt tropicale, les variations plus ou moins contrôlées d'un système agricole pour l'agriculteur ou d'un terroir pour le vigneron, un ensemble de ressources vivantes marines exploitables pour le pêcheur, la diversité des paysages ou des espèces charismatiques pour le grand public… Lévêque et Mounolou (2001) reconnaissent quatre grandes problématiques autour du terme « biodiversité ». Je me permettrai de les reclasser dans un ordre différent pour bien préciser les points scientifiques