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International Journal of Otolaryngology - Volume 2016 2016, Article ID 2830157, 13 pages -

Review ArticleThe University of Texas at Dallas, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 800 W Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080, USA

Received 2 October 2015; Accepted 12 January 2016

Academic Editor: Marc Bassim

Copyright © 2016 Aage R. Møller. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tinnitus is not a single disease but a group of different diseases with different pathologies and therefore different treatments. Regarding tinnitus as a single disease is hampering progress in understanding of the pathophysiology of tinnitus and perhaps, more importantly, it is a serious obstacle in development of effective treatments for tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus is a phantom sound that takes many different forms and has similarities with chronic neuropathic pain. The pathology may be in the cochlea, in the auditory nerve, or, most commonly, in the brain. Like chronic neuropathic pain tinnitus is not life threatening but influences many normal functions such as sleep and the ability to concentrate on work. Some forms of chronic tinnitus have two components, a phantom sound and a component that may best be described as suffering or distress. The pathology of these two components may be different and the treatment that is most effective may be different for these two components. The most common form of treatment of tinnitus is pharmacological agents and behavioral treatment combined with sound therapy. Less common treatments are hypnosis and acupuncture. Various forms of neuromodulation are becoming in use in an attempt to reverse maladaptive plastic changes in the brain.

Autor: Aage R. Møller



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