Otoacoustic emissions, ear fullness and tinnitus in the recovery course of sudden deafness.Auris Nasus Larynx. 2008 Mar; 35(1):41-6.AN
This study aimed to investigate how the symptoms of ear fullness, tinnitus and otoacoustic emissions (OAE) change in relation to the recovery course of pure tone audiometry thresholds (PTA) in sudden deafness (SD).
This study analyzed follow-up data on ear fullness, tinnitus and otoacoustic emissions of eight SD patients with good hearing improvement (Group A) and eight SD patients with poor hearing improvement (Group B) in an attempt to elucidate the behavior of these symptoms in their recovery course. This study was done until there was no change in the PTA for more than 1 week and hearing recovery was no longer expected.
All patients from both groups had ear fullness and tinnitus in association with the onset of SD. However, these symptoms improved only in Group A. showing a significant relationship between PTA recovery and the improvement of ear fullness annoyance (P<0.05), presence of tinnitus (P<0.01), improvement in tinnitus loudness (P<0.01) and in tinnitus annoyance (P<0.01). No patients (Group A or B) had OAE responses at their first examination. In Group A, OAE responses appeared simultaneously with improvement of hearing levels in five patients (63%) and it appeared later than hearing levels improvement in the other three patients (37%) from Group A. No patient from Group B showed OAE response on follow-up.
SD patients with good hearing improvement (Group A) tended to have OAE responses and the sensations of the ear fullness and tinnitus improved almost simultaneously with hearing level improvement. Their PTA improvement occurred primarily in the low to mid frequencies, with high frequencies showing less recovery. When hearing recovery was not full, OAEs did not reappear for these frequencies. Patients with poor hearing improvement tended to have absent OAEs and persistent ear fullness and tinnitus.