<strong>Background:</strong><span> Few South African studies have been published on the impact of tinnitus on quality of life of tinnitus sufferers, although evidence suggests that a large portion of the general population suffers from tinnitus.</span><p><strong>Objectives: </strong>The current study aimed at describing the effects of tinnitus on the quality of life of the participants as measured by the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI).</p><p><strong>Method:</strong> In a cross-sectional descriptive study design, 27 participants took part in the study by completing a self-administered THI questionnaire and participating in a semi-structured interview. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. Descriptively, content analysis was used to organise and convey results from the interviews.</p><p><strong>Results</strong>: Participants reported a wide range of perceived disability on the THI. Results ranged from mild to catastrophic, with functional disability being most prominent in all participants, although there were differences when results were analysed according to gender. There was an association between gender and the type of perceived disability, although this was statistically non-significant (<em>p</em> > 0.05). Only 26% of the participants reported no effect on occupational performance and quality of life, with the remainder of the participants reporting a significant effect. Limited effective management strategies were reported to have been implemented – a significant implication for the audiologists.</p><p><strong>Conclusion</strong>: The results have implications for audiologists as they suggest that audiologists should take a detailed case history to determine the extent to which tinnitus affects the individual. Furthermore, audiologists should administer a scale such as the THI in the management of tinnitus.</p
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