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Tinnitus Management

Cleveland Clinic's Tinnitus Management Clinic (TMC) provides a comprehensive approach to the evaluation and management of patients with tinnitus through a multidisciplinary team focused on patient care, education and research. For more than 12 million people, tinnitus – a ringing, buzzing, whistling, hissing or rushing sound in the ears and/or head – is so severe that it interferes with daily activities, including the ability to hear, work or sleep. While there is no universal cure for tinnitus, we offer ways to provide relief and control over the condition. Most of our patients benefit from one or a combination of management options.

The TMC’s Course of Evaluation and Treatment

Through our vast experience, we have developed a variety of approaches that provide relief for the majority of our patients. Following is the process for evaluation and treatment.

Step One: Medical Clearance

Because tinnitus can be associated with ear disease, it is imperative that you obtain medical clearance from an otolaryngologist (ENT physician) to rule out any health-related conditions that could be the cause of your tinnitus or could be treated through medical and/or surgical intervention. You cannot be seen in the TMC without written medical clearance from an otolaryngologist.

Step Two: Group Education and Multidisciplinary Team Assessment

Your initial appointment in the TMC will last three hours and will include group education and screening by TMC specialists.

  • Group Education: Along with other patients experiencing tinnitus, you will learn about the prevalence of the condition, how the hearing mechanism works, possible causes of tinnitus, common reactions to tinnitus, and management options. You will also receive take-home materials for later review.
  • Multidisciplinary Team Assessment: Following the group education session, you will meet individually with each of the following specialists for short assessments to determine which healthcare professionals may provide the most appropriate management for your tinnitus.
    • Audiologist: Reviews and demonstrates sound therapy options for tinnitus relief.
    • Dentist: Screens for specific dental problems that may be associated with the tinnitus.
    • Neurologist: Screens for potential neck/cervical disorders that may cause or affect the tinnitus.
    • Physical Therapist: Screens for problems associated with neck/spine, jaw or shoulder injuries, or strain caused by job requirements/daily postures.
    • Psychologist: Assists you in understanding the mind-body connection with tinnitus, which is critical in overall management of the condition.
Step Three: Individual Tinnitus Evaluation

Shortly after your multidisciplinary team assessment you will receive a letter outlining the results of your screenings and recommendations for treatment. You may then schedule a follow-up appointment with one or more of the specialists on the TMC team. During those visits a comprehensive evaluation will be conducted and a management plan designed.

Step Four: Individual Tinnitus Management

Based on your evaluation with one or more of the specialists on the TMC team, we will implement the prescribed treatment plan. Management may include the use of sound therapy, bite modification, behavioral modification therapy and/or physical therapy.

Cost of Treatment

The initial visit to the TMC (group education and multidisciplinary assessment) is not covered by health insurance. The cost is $300 and must be paid at the time of the visit. Subsequent follow-up visits may be covered. Check with your health insurance provider.

Scheduling an Appointment

After you have obtained medical clearance from an otolaryngologist, you may schedule your appointment for the group education session and multidisciplinary assessment by calling Mary Catherine Corrigan at 216.444.5370.

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To find a head and neck specialist for your needs, contact the Head & Neck Institute at 216.444.8500 (or toll-free 1.800.223.2273, ext. 48500)

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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