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Int J Audiol. 2017 Oct;56(10):793-800. doi: 10.1080/14992027.2017.1335888. Epub 2017 Jun 16.

Factors related to uncomfortable loudness levels for patients seen in a tinnitus and hyperacusis clinic.

Author information

1
a Audiology Department , Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust , Guildford , UK and.
2
b Department of Experimental Psychology , University of Cambridge , Cambridge , UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aims were as follows: (1) to explore patterns of uncomfortable loudness levels (ULLs) across frequency and their associated factors for patients with tinnitus and hyperacusis, and (2) to re-evaluate the criteria for diagnosing hyperacusis based on ULLs and scores for the Hyperacusis Questionnaire (HQ).

DESIGN:

This was a retrospective cross-sectional study.

STUDY SAMPLE:

573 consecutive patients for whom ULLs had been measured were included.

RESULTS:

A good correspondence between the diagnosis of hyperacusis based on the across-frequency average ULL for the ear with the lowest ULLs (ULLmin) and hyperacusis handicap based on HQ scores was obtained with cut-off values of ULLmin ≤77 dB HL and HQ score ≥ 22. A regression model showed significant relationships between ULLmin and the score on the HQ and age. The mean HQ score for patients with a large interaural asymmetry in ULLs was significantly higher than for the remainder. Hyperacusis handicap was associated with strong across-frequency variations in ULLs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Appropriate cut-off values for diagnosing hyperacusis are ULLmin ≤77 dB HL and HQ score ≥22. Large interaural asymmetry and large across-frequency variations in ULLs are associated with higher HQ scores.

KEYWORDS:

Hyperacusis; psychological assessment; tinnitus; uncomfortable loudness levels

PMID:
28622055
DOI:
10.1080/14992027.2017.1335888
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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