This clinical assay has demonstrated the efficacy of auditory discrimination therapy (ADT) in tinnitus management compared with a waiting-list group. In all, 43% of the ADT patients improved their tinnitus, and its intensity together with its handicap were statistically decreased (EMB rating: B-2).
To describe the effect of sound discrimination training on tinnitus. ADT designs a procedure to increase the cortical representation of trained frequencies (damaged cochlear areas with a secondary reduction of cortical stimulation) and to shrink the neighbouring over-represented ones (corresponding to tinnitus pitch).
This prospective descriptive study included 14 patients with high frequency matched tinnitus. Tinnitus severity was measured according to a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). Patients performed a 10-min auditory discrimination task twice a day for 1 month. Discontinuous 8 kHz pure tones were randomly mixed with 500 ms 'white noise' sounds through a MP3 system. ADT group results were compared with a waiting-list group (n=21).
In all, 43% of our patients had improvement in their tinnitus. A significant improvement in VAS (p=0.004) and THI mean scores was achieved (p=0.038). Statistical differences between ADT and the waiting-list group have been proved, considering patients' self-evaluations (p=0.043) and VAS scores (p=0.004). A non-significant reduction of THI was achieved (p=0.113).