There is something to be aware of when assessing theseverity of Tinnitus, in that there is a potential disconnect between the scoring systems used by Medical Professionals – Doctors, Audiologists  vs the scoring system used by DVA.

Lets examine the differences.

Tinnitus Severity Index

Please read each question below carefully. To answer a question, select ONE of the
numbers that is listed for that question, and draw a CIRCLE around it like this: 10% or 1 .

Over the PAST WEEK…
1. What percentage of your time awake were you consciously AWARE OF your tinnitus?
2. How STRONG or LOUD was your tinnitus?
3. What percentage of your time awake were you ANNOYED by your tinnitus?

Over the PAST WEEK…
4. Did you feel IN CONTROL in regard to your tinnitus?
5. How easy was it for you to COPE with your tinnitus?
6. How easy was it for you to IGNORE your tinnitus?

Over the PAST WEEK, how much did your tinnitus interfere with…
7. Your ability to CONCENTRATE?
8. Your ability to THINK CLEARLY?
9. Your ability to FOCUS ATTENTION on other things besides your tinnitus?

 Over the PAST WEEK…
10. How often did your tinnitus make it difficult to FALL ASLEEP or STAY ASLEEP?
11. How often did your tinnitus cause you difficulty in getting AS MUCH SLEEP as you needed?
12. How much of the time did your tinnitus keep you from SLEEPING as DEEPLY or as PEACEFULLY as you would have liked?

Over the PAST WEEK, how much has your tinnitus interfered with…
13. Your ability to HEAR CLEARLY? 
14. Your ability to UNDERSTAND PEOPLE who  are talking? 
15. Your ability to FOLLOW CONVERSATIONS in a group or at meetings?

Over the PAST WEEK, how much has your tinnitus interfered with…
16. Your QUIET RESTING ACTIVITIES?
17. Your ability to RELAX?
18. Your ability to enjoy “PEACE AND QUIET”?

Over the PAST WEEK, how much has your tinnitus interfered with…
19. Your enjoyment of SOCIAL ACTIVITIES? 
20. Your ENJOYMENT OF LIFE? 
21. Your RELATIONSHIPS with family, friends  and other people?
22. How often did your tinnitus cause you to have difficulty performing your WORK OR OTHER TASKS, such as home maintenance, school work, or caring for children or others?

Over the PAST WEEK…
23. How ANXIOUS or WORRIED has your tinnitus made you feel?
24. How BOTHERED or UPSET have you been because of your tinnitus?
25. How DEPRESSED were you because of your tinnitus?

Extra Questions Normally Assessed

Audiologists will normally ask about use of “masking devices” when falling asleep

  • fans
  • radios
  • white noise apps

Tinnitus under the GARP

The system used to score Tinnitus is defined in the DVA GARP.

 

NIL 

No tinnitus or occasional tinnitus.

 

TWO

Very mild tinnitus: not present every day.

 

FIVE

Tinnitus every day, but tolerable for much of the time.

 

TEN

Severe tinnitus, eg of similar severity to that requiring a masking device, present every day.

 

FIFTEEN

Very severe tinnitus, present every day, causing distraction, loss of concentration and extreme
discomfort, and regularly interfering with sleep.

DVA Metrics

The metrics used for scoring by DVA are:

Frequency

  • Present every day: YES/ NO

Severity:

  • Very Mild: no further explanation
  • Mild/Moderate(?) : Tolerable much of the time
  • Severe: eg of similar severity to that requiring a masking device
  • Very severe:
    • Distraction
    • loss of concentration
    • extreme discomfort
    • regularly interfering with sleep

Designing a Better Tinnitus Severity Form

Is your Tinnitus present every day?

 Is you Tinnitus generally tolerable?

Do you use a masking device, such as a fan or radio, to sleep?

Does your Tinnitus cause distraction? If so, how?

Does your Tinnitus cause loss of concentration? If so, how?

Does your Tinnitus regularly interfere with your sleep? If so, how?

Does your tinnitus cause you emotional or mental distress, anxiety or depression?  If so, how?

 

 

 

 

How often are you consciously AWARE OF your tinnitus?

 

How STRONG or LOUD is your tinnitus?

 

What percentage of your time awake are you ANNOYED by your tinnitus?

Do you feel IN CONTROL in regard to your tinnitus?

 

How easy is it for you to COPE with your tinnitus?

 

How easy is it for you to IGNORE your tinnitus?

Does your tinnitus interfere with  your ability to CONCENTRATE?

 

Does your tinnitus interfere with  your ability to THINK CLEARLY? If so, how?

 

Does your tinnitus interfere with  your ability to FOCUS ATTENTION on other things besides your tinnitus? If so, how?

Does your tinnitus make it difficult to FALL ASLEEP or STAY ASLEEP?

 

Does your tinnitus cause you difficulty in getting AS MUCH SLEEP as you needed?

Does your tinnitus keep you from SLEEPING as DEEPLY or as PEACEFULLY as you would have liked?

Does your Tinnitus interfere with Your ability to HEAR CLEARLY?

Does your Tinnitus interfere withYour ability to UNDERSTAND PEOPLE who  are talking?

Does your Tinnitus interfere with your ability to FOLLOW CONVERSATIONS in a group or at meetings?

Does your Tinnitus interfere with your QUIET RESTING ACTIVITIES?

 

Does your Tinnitus interfere with your ability to RELAX?

 

Does your Tinnitus interfere with your ability to enjoy “PEACE AND QUIET”?

 

Does your Tinnitus interfere with your enjoyment of SOCIAL ACTIVITIES?

 

Does your Tinnitus interfere with your ENJOYMENT OF LIFE?

 

Does your Tinnitus interfere with your RELATIONSHIPS with family, friends  and other people?

Does your Tinnitus cause you to have difficulty performing your WORK OR OTHER TASKS, such as home maintenance, school work, or caring for children or others?

 

How ANXIOUS or WORRIED has your tinnitus made you feel?

How BOTHERED or UPSET have you been because of your tinnitus?

How DEPRESSED were you because of your tinnitus?

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