Tinnitus : a cross-sectional study on the audiologic characteristics
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Otology and neurotology. - Philadelphia, Pa.
, p. 401-406
University of Antwerp
Background Patients visiting the department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery often recite tinnitus as the primary complaint. Frequently, tinnitus is accompanied by other symptoms such as hyperacusis and hearing loss. The present study is a cross-sectional study analyzing the relationships between tinnitus, hearing loss, and hyperacusis by the use of the audiologic measurements performed in a clinical practice. Methods All patients visiting the Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery department of the University Hospital Antwerp with complaints of tinnitus (sometimes accompanied by hyperacusis) during the year of 2012, were looked up (n = 588). All patients underwent audiometry and filled out the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ) and Hyperacusis Questionnaire (HQ), and tinnitus analysis was performed. The relationships between all measurements were examined by use of correlations, multinomial logistic regression analyses, and descriptive statistics. Results Scores on the TQ and HQ were significantly positively correlated (r = 0.5, p < 0.001). In general, patients with a combination of tinnitus and hyperacusis showed significantly higher TQ scores (p < 0.001) and higher ratings on the VAS for loudness and distress (p < 0.001) compared with tinnitus patients without hyperacusis. Furthermore, an age-dependent influence on the audiometric configuration and tinnitus type was found. Discussion Tinnitus and hyperacusis are two frequent symptoms recited at a consultation. The present study found that patients with a high TQ grade more often also perceive hyperacusis compared with patients with a low TQ grade. Conclusions Tinnitus and hyperacusis are two frequent symptoms recited at a consultation. We have to point out that also other issues, such as additional health problems and stress, may influence tinnitus severity. In addition, tinnitus type seems to be age dependent as younger patients more often experience a pure tone tinnitus and older patients more often experience a noise-like tinnitus.