Increasing awareness with recognition of pulsatile tinnitus for nurse practitioners in the primary care setting: A case study
Tinnitus is a common symptom leading to consultation with a primary care provider. It affects as many as 50 million people in the United States. Tinnitus is the perception of sound heard in one or both ears without an external stimulus (Henry, Zaugg, Myers, Kendall, & Michaelides, 2010). Tinnitus may be described as a buzzing, ringing, or hissing sound. Tinnitus may be categorized as subjective versus objective and pulsatile versus continuous or nonpulsatile (Vattoth, Shah, & Cure, 2010). The most common type of tinnitus is nonpulsatile, subjective tinnitus, which is heard only by the patient. Tinnitus may be caused by medication, noise exposure, metabolic or neurologic conditions, or other factors and it may be associated with hearing loss. Although nonpulsatile tinnitus can have a significant impact on the quality of life of a person, it is not considered to be medically serious (Henry et al.,2010).