Assessing audiological, pathophysiological and psychological variables in tinnitus patients with or without hearing loss

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Abstract

The aim of this work is to study the characteristics of tinnitus both in normal hearing subjects and in patients with hearing loss. The study considered tinnitus sufferers, ranging from 21 to 83 years of age, who were referred to the Audiology Section of Palermo University in the years 2006-2008. The following parameters were considered: age, sex, hearing threshold, tinnitus laterality, tinnitus duration, tinnitus measurements and subjective disturbance caused by tinnitus. The sample was divided into: Group1 (G1) 115 subjects with normal hearing; Group2 (G2) 197 subjects with hearing loss. Especially for G2 there was a predominance of males compared to females (P=0.011); the highest percentage of tinnitus resulted in the decades 61-70 and >70 with a significantly difference for G2 demonstrating that the hearing status and the elderly represent the principal tinnitus related factors (P<0.0001). The hearing impairment resulted in most cases of sensorineural type (SNHL) and limited to the high frequencies; the 72.1% of the patients with SNHL had a high-pitched tinnitus while the 88.4% of the patients with a high-frequency SNHL had a high-pitched tinnitus (P<0.0001). As to the subjective discomfort, the catastrophic category resulted most representative among G1 with a significant difference between the two groups; no correlation was found between the level of tinnitus intensity and the tinnitus annoyance confirming the possibility that tinnitus discomfort is elicited by a certain degree of psychological distress as anxiety, depression, irritability and phobias.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1685-1693
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Volume267
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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