Tinnitus pitch and minimum masking levels in different etiologies.Int J Audiol. 2014 Jul; 53(7):482-9.IJ
We sought to determine whether the results of audiological tests and tinnitus characteristics, particularly tinnitus pitch and minimum masking level (MML), depend on tinnitus etiology, and what other etiology-specific tinnitus characteristics there are.
The patients answered questions concerning tinnitus laterality, duration, character, aggravation, alleviation, previous treatment, and circumstances of onset. The results of tympanometry, pure-tone audiometry, distortion-product otoacoustic emissions, tinnitus likeness spectrum, MML, and uncomfortable loudness level were evaluated.
Patients with several tinnitus etiological factors were excluded. The remaining participants were divided into groups according to medical history: acute acoustic trauma: 67 ears; chronic acoustic trauma: 82; prolonged use of oral estrogen and progesterone contraceptives: 46; Ménière's disease: 25; congenital hearing loss: 19; sensorineural sudden deafness: 40; dull head trauma: 19; viral labyrinthitis: 53; stroke: 6; presbycusis: 152. Data of 509 ears were analysed.
Tinnitus pitch was highest in patients with acute acoustic trauma and lowest in patients receiving estrogen and progesterone. MML was lowest after acute acoustic trauma and in congenital hearing loss, and highest after a stroke and in the case of presbytinnitus.
Tinnitus pitch and MML are etiology dependent.