Characteristics of tinnitus in a population of 555 patients: specificities of tinnitus induced by noise trauma.Int Tinnitus J. 2006; 12(1):64-70.IT
Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss of a known etiology. In this study, we compared tinnitus that appeared to be induced by noise trauma with that perceived to start in other circumstances in a population of 555 patients attending the specialist tinnitus clinic at the University Hospital in Montpellier, France. Patients had consulted for persistent tinnitus for 7 years from the onset of their symptoms. Among these tinnitus patients, 17% described their tinnitus as starting after excessive noise exposure. The patients who had a history of noise trauma had a symmetrical hearing loss, and no difference was seen in lateralization of tinnitus perception. This subset of patients was mainly male and on average was 10 years younger than other tinnitus patients. In this population, the hearing loss is significantly less than that measured in the other patients, even allowing for their younger age. Statistical analysis showed a significant correlation between a history of exposure to noise trauma and the presence of a high-pitched "whistling" tinnitus. The presence of whistling tinnitus was significantly correlated with high-frequency hearing loss. The intensity of tinnitus, measured using a visual analog scale, appeared to be stronger than the measured hearing loss would suggest.