Paediatric tinnitus and hyperacusis

Tinnitus is common in children and twice as common in those with hearing loss. Adult tinnitus management models may not be applicable to childhood tinnitus, which requires a child-friendly approach. Hyperacusis may occur with tinnitus or in isolation. Psychological factors usually play a part in these symptoms.

Service delivery: This service is for assessing medical aspects of children who have tinnitus and dysacusis. To ensure high-quality person-centred care, the service is best delivered in conjunction with paediatric clinical psychologists with expertise in the field, and with paediatric audiologists. Audiovestibular physicians provide a holistic assessment of the child in the context of their dysacusis. Their role is to provide a medical assessment and look for any structural causes of the tinnitus, eg arteriovenous malformation and cerebellopontine (CP) angle tumour.

Additional requirements: Local pathways with access to a range of professionals are essential, eg neurologists, psychologists, ENT specialists and others.

Workforce: Medical professionals with training in audiovestibular medicine. Clinical psychologists with expertise in tinnitus/hyperacusis. New patients usually require 30–45 minutes, with 15–20 minutes for a follow-up appointment.