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Several Factors Influence Perceived Tinnitus Severity

Male, older subjects report greater annoyance and loudness associated with tinnitus

THURSDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Several factors influence how subjects with tinnitus perceive loudness and their level of annoyance with the condition, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery.

Wolfgang Hiller, Ph.D., of the University of Mainz in Germany, and a colleague conducted a cross-sectional survey of 4,995 members of the German Tinnitus League to evaluate how the major components of tinnitus severity -- loudness and annoyance -- are affected by tinnitus manifestation, history and etiology.

The researchers found that men, subjects over age 50 years, and those with binaural or continuous tinnitus complained of higher levels of loudness and annoyance. Over time, subjects with continuous tinnitus complained less about annoyance and more about loudness. Hearing loss, vertigo and hyperacusis exacerbated the condition.

"Adequate treatment decisions cannot be made without taking tinnitus severity into account," the authors write. "Moreover, loudness and annoyance represent outcome variables that should be considered central for treatment studies."

Abstract
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