Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27379. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027379. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Does tinnitus distress depend on age of onset?

Author information

1
Department of Clinical and Biological Psychology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. Winfried.Schlee@uni-ulm.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Tinnitus is the perception of a sound in the absence of any physical source of it. About 5-15% of the population report hearing such a tinnitus and about 1-2% suffer from their tinnitus leading to anxiety, sleep disorders or depression. It is currently not completely understood why some people feel distressed by their tinnitus, while others don't. Several studies indicate that the amount of tinnitus distress is associated with many factors including comorbid anxiety, comorbid depression, personality, the psychosocial situation, the amount of the related hearing loss and the loudness of the tinnitus. Furthermore, theoretical considerations suggest an impact of the age at tinnitus onset influencing tinnitus distress.

METHODS:

Based on a sample of 755 normal hearing tinnitus patients we tested this assumption. All participants answered a questionnaire on the amount of tinnitus distress together with a large variety of clinical and demographic data.

RESULTS:

Patients with an earlier onset of tinnitus suffer significantly less than patients with an onset later in life. Furthermore, patients with a later onset of tinnitus describe their course of tinnitus distress as more abrupt and distressing right from the beginning.

CONCLUSION:

We argue that a decline of compensatory brain plasticity in older age accounts for this age-dependent tinnitus decompensation.

PMID:
22125612
PMCID:
PMC3220697
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0027379
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center