Blog Archives

Influence of tinnitus sound therapy signals on the intelligibility of speech

Conclusion: The use of different tinnitus sound therapy signals can lead to significantly different effects on the intelligibility of speech. The use of natural sound recordings or combinations of tones may provide the patient with more flexibility to change the stimulation level during treatment.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology

The influence of military service on auditory health and the efficacy of a hearing conservation program

The influence of military service on self-assessed hearing symptoms and measured auditory function was studied as well as the efficacy of the Hearing Conservation Program (HCP) of the Swedish Armed Forces. 839 conscripts were recruited for the study at reporting to military service. They were all exposed to noise over the risk-limits from weapons and vehicles and used earmuffs and/or earplugs. Questionnaires and pure tone screening audiometry were studied at the start and the end of the military service. Retrospective information regarding audiometry at conscription before military service was included as control. The prevalence values of tinnitus were 23% before and 32% after the service and of sensitivity to noise 16% and 19% respectively. The prevalence values of hearing impairment were 6.3% at conscription, 14.5% at reporting to military service, and 24% after the training period. The incidence values of hearing decline were 3.7% during the period with no military noise exposure and 6.6% during the military service. Acoustic accident increased the risk of worsened tinnitus and sensitivity to noise four times and for a high frequency hearing decline six times. We observed elevated prevalence values of tinnitus, sensitivity to noise and hearing impairment at discharge compared to before military service. We observed an elevated risk of hearing decline during military service. Acoustic accident increased the risk of tinnitus, noise sensitivity and hearing decline. We suggest improvements regarding inclusion criteria for military service, and for education regarding the HCP.

from Noise & Health

Assessment of tinnitus-related impairments and disabilities using the German THI-12: Sensitivity and stability of the scale over time

Conclusions: The THI-12, with its three-factorial structure, is a simple, reliable, and valid instrument for the diagnosis and assessment of tinnitus and associated impairment over time.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Plasticity of the Human Auditory Cortex Related to Musical Training

During the last decades music neuroscience has become a rapidly growing field within the area of neuroscience. Music is particularly well suited for studying neuronal plasticity in the human brain because musical training is more complex and multimodal than most other daily life activities, and because prospective and professional musicians usually pursue the training with high and long-lasting commitment. Therefore, music has increasingly been used as a tool for the investigation of human cognition and its underlying brain mechanisms. Music relates to many brain functions like perception, action, cognition, emotion, learning and memory and therefore music is an ideal tool to investigate how the human brain is working and how different brain functions interact. Novel findings have been obtained in the field of induced cortical plasticity by musical training. The positive effects, which music in its various forms has in the healthy human brain are not only important in the framework of basic neuroscience, but they also will strongly affect the practices in neuro-rehabilitation.

from Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews

Comparison of auditory electrophysiological responses in normal-hearing patients with and without tinnitus

Conclusion: The pathogenesis and optimum management of tinnitus are still unclear. It often occurs with primary ear disease, usually associated with hearing loss, but may occur in patients with normal hearing. Observed changes in auditory brainstem and middle latency responses indicate central auditory alterations. Tinnitus involves both peripheral and central activity, and complete audiological and neurophysiological investigation is required. Management should be based on both audiological and neurophysiological findings.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Pitfalls in the management of monaural deafness

Conclusion: Cochlear implantation in patients with long-term deafness should be considered carefully, even if deafness is monaural.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Tinnitus retraining therapy using portable music players

TRT using a PMP had efficacy similar to those of TCI and HA. The murmur of a stream was one of the most effective sounds in TRT. TRT using a PMP as the sound generator can provide the most cost-effective treatment option for tinnitus patients.

from Auris Nasus Larynx

Neurofeedback for subjective tinnitus patients

Further studies are necessary to characterize the tinnitus subjects who recovered from and adapted to this psychophysical condition and, therefore, responded to neurofeedback therapy.

from Auris Nasus Larynx

The impact of sertraline on health-related quality of life in severe refractory tinnitus: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study

Objective: Little is known about the influence of antidepressants on tinnitus patients’ health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). We have addressed this question by investigating the efficacy of sertraline on severe refractory tinnitus. Study design: Seventy-five consecutive patients without socially disabling hearing loss, who fulfilled risk criteria for developing severe refractory tinnitus based on a screening procedure with established validity, were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of placebo (n = 38) or sertraline (n = 37) at a fixed dose (50 mg/day) in a double-blind treatment trial. After completion of the placebo-controlled trial, all patients were offered to continue with sertraline and to participate in another follow-up after 12 weeks. The remaining sertraline group at 16 weeks was studied for a total of 28 weeks treatment. Psychological General Well-Being (PGWB) index served as an indicator of HR-QoL and was administered at baseline before treatment and at 16 and 28 weeks follow-up. Results: The intention-to-treat analysis showed sertraline to be more effective than placebo (p < 0.001) in improving HR-QoL after 16 weeks treatment. The improvement after 16 weeks was maintained at 28 weeks. Conclusion: We conclude that sertraline improves the HR-QoL in severe refractory tinnitus compared to placebo and that improvements in HR-QoL are maintained over time.

from Audiological Medicine

Benefit from hearing aids in users with and without tinnitus

A total of 85 hearing aid users (mean age 67.4 years) participated, and of those 61% (52/85) reported tinnitus. Tinnitus patients reported more problems on the APHAB subscales Background Noise without a hearing aid, aversiveness with hearing aid, and less benefit from the hearing aid in aversive situations. Tinnitus distress was associated with less benefit on the APHAB subscales dealing with the aversiveness of sound and hearing in background noise. Conclusion: Tinnitus patients with hearing aids report slightly less benefit and more problems with their hearing aids, in particular in relation to background sounds and aversiveness of sounds.

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from Audiological Medicine

Tinnitus Suppression by Low-Rate Electric Stimulation and Its Electrophysiological Mechanisms

Tinnitus is a phantom sensation of sound in the absence of external stimulation. However, external stimulation, particularly electric stimulation via a cochlear implant, has been shown to suppress tinnitus. Different from traditional methods of delivering speech sounds or high-rate (>2,000 Hz) stimulation, the present study found a unique unilaterally-deafened cochlear implant subject whose tinnitus was completely suppressed by a low-rate (<100 Hz) stimulus, delivered at a level softer than tinnitus to the apical part of the cochlea. Taking advantage of this novel finding, the present study compared both event-related and spontaneous cortical activities in the same subject between the tinnitus-present and tinnitus-suppressed states. Compared with the results obtained in the tinnitus-present state, the low-rate stimulus reduced cortical N100 potentials while increasing the spontaneous alpha power in the auditory cortex. These results are consistent with previous neurophysiological studies employing subjects with and without tinnitus and shed light on both tinnitus mechanism and treatment.

from Hearing Research

Electrophysiological and psychological studies in tinnitus

This study provides evidences that different pathological mechanisms are involved in tinnitus generation which are more extensive than we thought.

from Auris Nasus Larynx

Impaired Cochlear Function Correlates with the Presence of Tinnitus and Its Estimated Spectral Profile

from Hearing Research

Tinnitus in patients with chronic otitis media before and after middle ear surgery

The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical features of tinnitus in patients with chronic otitis media (COM) and to evaluate changes in tinnitus following middle ear surgery in relation to audiologic outcome. Medical records were reviewed for 117 patients with COM who underwent middle ear surgery between March 2009 and March 2010. Of them, 44 patients who pre-operatively reported tinnitus on a tinnitus questionnaire and 28 patients who completed a tinnitus questionnaire 8 weeks after surgery were evaluated to determine the clinical characteristics of tinnitus in patients with COM and any change in tinnitus following middle ear surgery, respectively. New tinnitus symptoms that developed after surgery were also evaluated in previously asymptomatic patients. The pre-operative incidence of tinnitus in patients with COM was 43% (50/117), with 87% of these patients displaying sensorineural tinnitus. After middle ear surgery, tinnitus handicap inventory scores were reduced in 82% of patients (23/28). Mean values of loudness, annoyance, effect on life, and awareness of tinnitus were also significantly reduced. One patient displayed newly developed tinnitus after surgery. Analysis of the relationship between improvement in tinnitus and audiologic outcome demonstrated that the group of patients whose tinnitus handicap inventory was reduced by more than 10 showed significantly greater improvements in mean air-conduction thresholds than did patients in the other group. In conclusion, following middle ear surgery, most patients experienced a reduction in tinnitus and restored hearing, with surgery perceived as an important contributory factor.<p><p>from the <a href=”European” _mce_href=””><em>European”>”><em>European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology</em></a></p>

Clinical characteristics and audiological significance of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in tinnitus patients with normal hearing

Normal-hearing tinnitus patients with spontaneous otoacoustic emissions have different clinical and audiological characteristics, compared with those without spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. Appropriate evaluation and treatment should be considered at an early stage in these patients.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology