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Audiology  2006 

Investigation of Tinnitus Characteristics in 36 Patients with Subjective Tinnitus with Unknown Etiology

Keywords: Loudness

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Background and Aim: Tinnitus represents the perception of sound without an external stimulus. The prevalence of tinnitus ranges from 3% to 30%. In most cases its etiology is unknown. Tinnitus can be classified as pulsatile or nonpulsatile. Nonpulsatile form is the most common form and almost exclusively subjective in nature. There is a range of condition attributed to nonpulsatile high frequency tinnitus (acoustic neuroma, Meniere’s disease, ototoxic agents, and noise exposure, etc). There are many studies about form, site, loudness, and frequency of tinnitus and how it can affect the quality of patient life. Materials and methods: This was a descriptive and analytic study. Thirty-six patients (23 men and 13 women) with mean age 53.1 year old with subjective tinnitus evaluated in Pezhvak audiometric clinic in Mashhad.The data consisting of age sex, loudness, frequency form and site of tinnitus. Evaluation of effects of tinnitus on the quality of life and habits was performed with a tinnitus questionnaire (TQ). Results: Tinnitus was unilateral in 64% of cases. The right site was more common. Mean pitch was 7.03 kHz and average loudness was 3.8 dB SPL. SDS was in normal range in all of patients. There was a high frequency sensory neural hearing loss (above the 4 kHz) in most of the patients. The greatest score (60.3%) of TQ related to intrusiveness aspect. Sleep disorder has the lowest score (39/3%). Global score was 52.4%. Conclusion: Nonpulsatile subjective tinnitus has a broad range of etiology with unknown mechanism in most cases and without any history of underlying disease in a large group of patients. This symptom mostly involves the patients` lifestyle that is intrusiveness aspect in comparison with the other aspects including sleep, hearing and somatic complaints. There is no cure for most patient and more studies are needed in the future.


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