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Case Rep Otolaryngol. 2012;2012:210707. doi: 10.1155/2012/210707. Epub 2012 Nov 25.

Suppression of tinnitus in a patient with unilateral sudden hearing loss: a case report.

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Tinnitus Center, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, European Hospital, Via Portuense 700, 00149 Rome, Italy.


We describe a case of a 67-year-old woman with severe disabling right-sided tinnitus, mild hyperacusis, and headache. The tinnitus was associated with sudden right hearing loss and vertigo, which occurred about 18 months before. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) resulted in normal anatomical structures of the cochlea and of the cranial nerves showing a partial empty sella syndrome with suprasellar cistern hernia. Angio-MR revealed a bilateral contact between the anterior-inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) and the acoustic-facial nerve with a potential neurovascular conflict. Surgery was considered unnecessary after further evaluations. The right ear was successfully treated with a combination device (hearing aid plus sound generator). Shortly after a standard fitting procedure, the patient reported a reduction of tinnitus, hyperacusis, and headache which completely disappeared at the follow-up evaluation after 3, 6, and 12 months. This paper demonstrates that the combination device resulted in a complete tinnitus and hyperacusis suppression in a patient with unilateral sensorineural sudden hearing loss. Our paper further supports the restoration of peripheral sensory input for the treatment of tinnitus associated with hearing loss in selected patients.

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