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ISRN Otolaryngol. 2013 Sep 2;2013:205714. doi: 10.1155/2013/205714. eCollection 2013.

Correlation of tinnitus loudness and onset duration with audiological profile indicating variation in prognosis.

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1
Department of Otolaryngology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.

Abstract

Purpose. Subjective tinnitus has different forms and degrees of severity. Many studies in the literature have assessed psychoacoustic characteristics of tinnitus but hardly any of them had focused on the association of audiological profile with onset duration and loudness perception. The aim of this study was to evaluate existence of any association between tinnitus loudness/onset duration and audiological profile to explain differences in prognosis. Method. Study design was prospective. The sample consisted of 26 subjects having tinnitus, which was divided into tinnitus and nontinnitus ears. Audiological profile included pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, tympanometry, acoustic reflex test, and auditory evoked potentials (early and middle latency). Unpaired t-test was applied to compare two subgroups. Correlation and association between tinnitus onset duration/loudness perception and audiological profile were also assessed by calculating Spearman's coefficient and Fischer exact value. Results. The two subgroups had significant differences for pure-tone and speech audiometry hearing thresholds. A significant association was observed between the high frequency/extended high frequency and tinnitus loudness/onset duration. Conclusion. The changes in hearing thresholds and auditory pathway are associated with an increase in tinnitus loudness and its onset duration. This knowledge would be helpful to differentiate between severity and chronicity of the patients for planning therapeutic management and predicting prognosis.

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