Topic Editors

Prof. Dr. Jose A. Lopez-Escamez
Otology & Neurotology Group CTS495, Department of Genomic Medicine, GENYO—Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research—Pfizer/University of Granada/Junta de Andalucía, PTS, 18016 Granada, Spain
Dr. Winfried Schlee
Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany

Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science

Abstract submission deadline
31 March 2023
Manuscript submission deadline
31 May 2023
Viewed by
24889

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tinnitus is the phantom percept of an internal non-verbal set of noises or tones reported by more than 15% of the population, and it is usually associated with hearing and/or brain disorders. Severe tinnitus is considered a disorder when it is associated with emotional distress, cognitive dysfunction, and/or autonomic arousal, leading to behavioral changes and functional disability. The annoyance experienced by patients varies from totally absent to tinnitus-related suicidal tendency. The neurophysiological and molecular basis of tinnitus disorder is starting to be deciphered, and a deep knowledge of the mechanisms of hearing loss, hyperacusis, and several mental and neurological conditions related to tinnitus is essential for a better understanding and management of tinnitus patients. To date, there is no standard treatment that may reliably cure tinnitus. Among the most important reasons is the large variety among tinnitus patients, their temporal variation of symptoms and the heterogeneous responses to clinical interventions. Hearing loss seems to be one of the largest risk factors for tinnitus, but not all patients with hearing loss develop tinnitus, and not all patients with tinnitus exhibit measurable hearing loss. Epidemiological and genetic studies have shown that severe tinnitus is associated with hyperacusis, and both genetic factors and noise exposure have a significant contribution to tinnitus disorders. In addition to this, somatosensory disorders and some rare forms of tinnitus have a clearly identifiable neuroanatomical origin, such as arteriovenous malformation, aneurysm, or acoustic neuroma. The challenge is to improve the diagnostic procedures of tinnitus and develop personalized medicine for tinnitus patients: to assign the appropriate treatment or combination of treatments to each patient. With this multidisciplinary Topic, we want to generate an open access forum for clinical and translational tinnitus research, including preclinical studies, innovative diagnostic procedures, and novel treatment strategies that aim to improve the patient journey from diagnosis to the best-suited therapeutic approach for the individual patient. In this respect, research papers on individualized treatment decisions and decision support systems are also strongly encouraged. Original research papers and systematic reviews of high quality are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Jose A. Lopez-Escamez
Dr. Winfried Schlee
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • brain
  • hearing
  • tinnitus
  • vertigo
  • Meniere disease
  • vestibular migraine
  • vestibular disorders

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Audiology Research
audiolres
- - 2011 20.9 Days 1200 CHF Submit
Biomedicines
biomedicines
6.081 3.6 2013 17.2 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Brain Sciences
brainsci
3.394 3.0 2011 19.9 Days 2000 CHF Submit
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
3.390 3.4 2004 21.4 Days 2500 CHF Submit
Journal of Clinical Medicine
jcm
4.242 - 2012 20.4 Days 2400 CHF Submit

Published Papers (16 papers)

Order results
Result details
Journals
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Smartphone-Guided Educational Counseling and Self-Help for Chronic Tinnitus
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(7), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11071825 - 25 Mar 2022
Abstract
Tinnitus is an auditory phantom perception in the ears or head in the absence of a corresponding external stimulus. There is currently no effective treatment available that reliably reduces tinnitus. Educational counseling is a treatment approach that aims to educate patients and inform [...] Read more.
Tinnitus is an auditory phantom perception in the ears or head in the absence of a corresponding external stimulus. There is currently no effective treatment available that reliably reduces tinnitus. Educational counseling is a treatment approach that aims to educate patients and inform them about possible coping strategies. For this feasibility study, we implemented educational material and self-help advice in a smartphone app. Participants used the educational smartphone app unsupervised during their daily routine over a period of four months. Comparing the tinnitus outcome measures before and after smartphone-guided treatment, we measured changes in tinnitus-related distress, but not in tinnitus loudness. Improvements on the Tinnitus Severity numeric rating scale reached an effect size of 0.408, while the improvements on the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) were much smaller with an effect size of 0.168. An analysis of user behavior showed that frequent and intensive use of the app is a crucial factor for treatment success: participants that used the app more often and interacted with the app intensively reported a stronger improvement in the tinnitus. Between study allocation and final assessment, 26 of 52 participants dropped out of the study. Reasons for the dropouts and lessons for future studies are discussed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Hearing Aid Effects and Satisfaction in Patients with Tinnitus
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(4), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11041096 - 18 Feb 2022
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of and satisfaction with hearing aids as a treatment option for tinnitus with hearing loss. Methods: This retrospective study used the tinnitus handicap inventory (THI), the satisfaction with amplification in daily life (SADL) questionnaire, and a [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of and satisfaction with hearing aids as a treatment option for tinnitus with hearing loss. Methods: This retrospective study used the tinnitus handicap inventory (THI), the satisfaction with amplification in daily life (SADL) questionnaire, and a medical chart review. A total of 116 patients treated between August 2018 and December 2020 were included. All patients with tinnitus and hearing loss underwent the same counseling sessions. Sixty patients chose to have hearing aids fitted (aided group), whereas 56 patients chose not to (non-aided group). Both the groups had similar audiometric configurations, durations of tinnitus, and ages. Structured interviews were performed, with various measures evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS) and the THI questionnaire, before and six months after fitting the hearing aids. The SADL questionnaire was administered 6 months after fitting the hearing aids. Results: The patients’ THI scores reduced 6 months after the counseling, but the improvement in the THI scores was only significant in the group that received hearing aids. There were significant differences between the VAS scores of the two groups, and the changes in the VAS scores in the groups were statistically different. Subjective satisfaction with a hearing aid increased with improvements to tinnitus-related discomfort. Conclusion: The study’s results indicated that patients with hearing loss and tinnitus can be treated with hearing aids and counseling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Standardized Clinical Profiling in Spanish Patients with Chronic Tinnitus
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(4), 978; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11040978 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Tinnitus is a heterogeneous condition. The aim of this study as to compare the online and hospital responses to the Spanish version of European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research screening-questionnaire (ESIT-SQ) in tinnitus individuals by an unsupervised age clustering. Methods: A cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Background: Tinnitus is a heterogeneous condition. The aim of this study as to compare the online and hospital responses to the Spanish version of European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research screening-questionnaire (ESIT-SQ) in tinnitus individuals by an unsupervised age clustering. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed including 434 white Spanish patients with chronic tinnitus to assess the demographic and clinical profile through the ESIT-SQ, with 204 outpatients and 230 individuals from an online survey; a K-means clustering algorithm was used to classify both responses according to age. Results: Online survey showed a high proportion of Meniere’s disease (MD) patients compared to both the general population and the outpatient cohort. The responses showed statistically significant differences between groups regarding education level, tinnitus-related hearing disorders (MD, hyperacusis), sleep difficulties, dyslipidemia, and other tinnitus characteristics, including duration, type of onset, the report of mitigating factors and the use of treatments. However, these differences were partially confirmed after adjusting for age. Conclusions: Self-reported tinnitus surveys are a low confidence source for tinnitus phenotyping. Additional clinical evaluation is needed for tinnitus research to reach the diagnosis. Age-based cluster analysis might help to better define clinical profiles and to compare responses in ESIT-SQ among subgroups of patients with tinnitus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Article
Auricular Acupressure Combined with Self-Help Intervention for Treating Chronic Tinnitus: A Longitudinal Observational Study
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(18), 4201; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10184201 - 16 Sep 2021
Abstract
Tinnitus is a phantom sound perception in the ears or head and can arise from many different medical disorders. Currently, there is no standard treatment for tinnitus that reliably reduces tinnitus. Individual patients reported that acupressure at various points around the ear can [...] Read more.
Tinnitus is a phantom sound perception in the ears or head and can arise from many different medical disorders. Currently, there is no standard treatment for tinnitus that reliably reduces tinnitus. Individual patients reported that acupressure at various points around the ear can help to reduce tinnitus, which was investigated here. With this longitudinal observational study, we report a systematic evaluation of auricular acupressure on 39 tinnitus sufferers, combined with a self-help smartphone app. The participants were asked to report on tinnitus, stress, mood, neck, and jaw muscle tensions twice a day using an ecological momentary assessment study design for six weeks. On average, 123.6 questionnaires per person were provided and used for statistical analysis. The treatment responses of the participants were heterogeneous. On average, we observed significant negative trends for tinnitus loudness (Cohen’s d effect size: −0.861), tinnitus distress (d = −0.478), stress (d = −0.675), and tensions in the neck muscles (d = −0.356). Comparison with a matched control group revealed significant improvements for tinnitus loudness (p = 0.027) and self-reported stress level (p = 0.003). The positive results of the observational study motivate further research including a randomized clinical trial and long-term assessment of the clinical improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Influence of Depression, Anxiety and Cognition on the Treatment Effects of Ginkgo biloba Extract EGb 761® in Patients with Tinnitus and Dementia: A Mediation Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(14), 3151; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10143151 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Comorbid occurrence of tinnitus and emotional symptoms of anxiety and depression is highly prevalent. The Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® has been shown to be effective in reducing neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia and tinnitus. Methods: We performed a mediation [...] Read more.
Background: Comorbid occurrence of tinnitus and emotional symptoms of anxiety and depression is highly prevalent. The Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® has been shown to be effective in reducing neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with dementia and tinnitus. Methods: We performed a mediation analysis to evaluate direct effects of EGb 761® on tinnitus severity, as well as indirect effects mediated by symptoms of depression and anxiety and by changed cognition. We pooled data from subsets of patients suffering from tinnitus that were enrolled in three double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, which investigated the efficacy of EGb 761® (240 mg/day for 22–24 weeks) in dementia with concomitant neuropsychiatric symptoms. Results: In total, 594 patients suffered from tinnitus (EGb 761®, 289; placebo, 305). Direct effects of EGb 761® on tinnitus severity (p < 0.001) in patients with mild to moderate dementia were found to represent about 60% of the total effect, whereas the indirect effects (p < 0.001) mediated by improvement of anxiety, depression and cognition represented about 40% of the total effect. Conclusions: EGb 761® could be considered as a supporting treatment for tinnitus in elderly patients suffering from dementia, with added benefit in those with symptoms of depression or anxiety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Hearing Aid Fitting in Tinnitus: A Scoping Review of Methodological Aspects and Effect on Tinnitus Distress and Perception
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(13), 2896; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132896 - 29 Jun 2021
Abstract
Current evidence on efficacy of hearing aids (HAs) on tinnitus perception and annoyance is considered insufficient due to the heterogeneity of tinnitus characteristics and of methods used in the relevant clinical studies. This is a scoping review focused on the methodological aspects of [...] Read more.
Current evidence on efficacy of hearing aids (HAs) on tinnitus perception and annoyance is considered insufficient due to the heterogeneity of tinnitus characteristics and of methods used in the relevant clinical studies. This is a scoping review focused on the methodological aspects of clinical studies evaluating the value of HA fitting as part of tinnitus management over the past 10 years. Thirty-four studies were included in the review, showing important heterogeneity in almost all aspects of inclusion criteria, comparators, outcome measures, follow-up time and HA fitting procedures. Although all studies show that HA fitting has a positive impact on tinnitus perception in patients with hearing loss, the methodological heterogeneity does not allow robust conclusions. Future studies taking into account the different nature and goals of each tinnitus therapeutic modality and adapting their methods, endpoints and timelines according to them could lay the groundwork for obtaining high-quality evidence on whether and how HA fitting shall be implemented in tinnitus management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Health-Related Quality of Life, Depressive Symptoms, Anxiety, and Somatization Symptoms in Male and Female Patients with Chronic Tinnitus
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(13), 2798; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132798 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Objective: To investigate the joint impact of tinnitus-related distress (TRD), anxiety, depressive symptoms, and other somatization symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in female vs. male patients with chronic tinnitus. Method: Three-hundred-and-fifty-two patients with chronic tinnitus completed audiological testing and a psychological [...] Read more.
Objective: To investigate the joint impact of tinnitus-related distress (TRD), anxiety, depressive symptoms, and other somatization symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in female vs. male patients with chronic tinnitus. Method: Three-hundred-and-fifty-two patients with chronic tinnitus completed audiological testing and a psychological assessment battery that comprised—among other measures—German versions of the Tinnitus Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Somatic Symptom Scale-8, and Health-Related Quality of Life scale. Descriptive analyses examined associations as well as within- and between-gender differences of the measured variables. Gender-specific serial indirect effects analyses aimed to explain the impact of TRD on HRQoL through psychological processes, notably anxiety, depressive symptoms, and somatization symptoms. Results: Both female and male patients yielded lower mental than physical HRQoL and negative associations between the measured psychological variables and HRQoL. Compared to male patients, female patients reported higher levels of tinnitus-related- and wider psychological distress, other somatization symptoms (e.g., headaches), and impairments in mental and physical HRQoL. For each gender, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and somatization symptoms fully mediated the effect of TRD on mental and physical HRQoL. A double-dissociation revealed an interaction of somatization symptoms and depression on the TRD-HRQoL association in women, and of somatization symptoms and anxiety in men. Conclusions: In patients with chronic tinnitus, psychological constructs account for reported impairments in both mental and physical HRQoL. To improve patients’ HRQoL, treatment conceptualizations should consider gender-specific psychological expressions of low mood or anxiety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Treatment Outcomes of Patients with Glomus Tympanicum Tumors Presenting with Pulsatile Tinnitus
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(11), 2348; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10112348 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
We reviewed the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients with glomus tympanicum tumors (GTTs) presenting with pulsatile tinnitus (PT). We explored whether transcanal sound recording-spectro-temporal analysis (TSR-STA) usefully evaluated changes in PT. The medical records of 13 patients who underwent surgical removal [...] Read more.
We reviewed the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients with glomus tympanicum tumors (GTTs) presenting with pulsatile tinnitus (PT). We explored whether transcanal sound recording-spectro-temporal analysis (TSR-STA) usefully evaluated changes in PT. The medical records of 13 patients who underwent surgical removal of GTTs were reviewed retrospectively. Two patients underwent preoperative endovascular embolization. Changes in PT, pre- and postoperative audiometry data, TSR-STA results, and clinical outcomes were evaluated. PT was the chief complaint in eight patients (61.5%) and resolved immediately after surgical intervention in all. Two patients exhibited ipsilateral, pseudo-low-frequency hearing loss (PLFHL); surgical GTT removal elicited postoperative improvements in the ipsilesional low-frequency hearing thresholds. Five patients underwent TSR-STA using previously described methods. TSR-STA revealed definite rise-and-fall patterns; surgical tumor removal abated this pattern in one patient, but, for the other four, the patterns did not change greatly post-intervention. Thus, GTT-related PT can be treated successfully (via surgical GTT removal) without complications. In selected cases, preoperative embolization reduces intraoperative hemorrhage. In PT patients with PLFHL, a detailed otoendoscopic examination of the middle ear is required to rule out a GTT. TSR-STA may usefully (and objectively) assess postoperative improvements in GTT-related PT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Tinnitus and Neuropsychological Dysfunction in the Elderly: A Systematic Review on Possible Links
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(9), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10091881 - 27 Apr 2021
Abstract
Introduction: Tinnitus is a common and disabling symptom often associated with hearing loss. While clinical practice frequently shows that a certain degree of psychological discomfort often characterizes tinnitus suffers, it has been recently suggested in adults as a determining factor for cognitive decline [...] Read more.
Introduction: Tinnitus is a common and disabling symptom often associated with hearing loss. While clinical practice frequently shows that a certain degree of psychological discomfort often characterizes tinnitus suffers, it has been recently suggested in adults as a determining factor for cognitive decline affecting attention and memory domains. The aim of our systematic review was to provide evidence for a link between tinnitus, psychological distress, and cognitive dysfunction in older patients and to focus on putative mechanisms of this relationship. Methods: We performed a systematic review, finally including 192 articles that were screened. This resulted in 12 manuscripts of which the full texts were included in a qualitative analysis. Results: The association between tinnitus and psychological distress, mainly depression, has been demonstrated in older patients, although only few studies addressed the aged population. Limited studies on cognitive dysfunction in aged patients affected by chronic tinnitus are hardly comparable, as they use different methods to validate cognitive impairment. Actual evidence does not allow us with certainty to establish if tinnitus matters as an independent risk factor for cognitive impairment or evolution to dementia. Conclusion: Tinnitus, which is usually associated with age-related hearing loss, might negatively affect emotional wellbeing and cognitive capacities in older people, but further studies are required to improve the evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Analysis of Chronic Tinnitus in Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Presbycusis
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(8), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10081779 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Introduction: The most frequent causes of tinnitus associated with hearing loss are noise-induced hearing loss and presbycusis. The mechanism of tinnitus is not yet clear, although several hypotheses have been suggested. Therefore, we aimed to analyze characteristics of chronic tinnitus between noise-induced hearing [...] Read more.
Introduction: The most frequent causes of tinnitus associated with hearing loss are noise-induced hearing loss and presbycusis. The mechanism of tinnitus is not yet clear, although several hypotheses have been suggested. Therefore, we aimed to analyze characteristics of chronic tinnitus between noise-induced hearing loss and presbycusis. Materials and Methods: This paper is a retrospective chart review and outpatient clinic-based study of 248 patients with chronic tinnitus from 2015 to 2020 with noise-induced or presbycusis. Pure tone audiometry (PTA), auditory brainstem response (ABR), distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE), transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE), and tinnitograms were conducted. Results: PTA showed that hearing thresholds at all frequencies were higher in patients with noise-induced hearing loss than the presbycusis group. ABR tests showed that patients with presbycusis had longer wave I and III latencies (p < 0.05 each) than patients with noise-induced hearing loss. TEOAE tests showed lower values in patients with noise-induced hearing loss than presbycusis at 1.5, 2, 3, and 4 kHz (p < 0.05 each). DPOAE tests showed that response rates in both ears at 1.5, 2, and 3 kHz were significantly higher in patients with presbycusis than noise-induced hearing loss (p < 0.05 each). Discussion: This study showed that hearing thresholds were higher, the loudness of tinnitus was smaller, and the degree of damage to outer hair cells was lower in patients with presbycusis than with noise-induced hearing loss. Moreover, wave I and III latencies were more prolonged in patients with presbycusis despite their having lower hearing thresholds. These phenomena may reflect the effects of aging or degeneration of the central nervous system with age. Further studies are needed to evaluate the etiologies of tinnitus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Methodological Aspects of Randomized Controlled Trials for Tinnitus: A Systematic Review and How a Decision Support System Could Overcome Barriers
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(8), 1737; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10081737 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Although a wide range of tinnitus management interventions is currently under research and a variety of therapeutic interventions have already been applied in clinical practice, no optimal and universal tinnitus treatment has been reached yet. This fact is to some extent a consequence [...] Read more.
Although a wide range of tinnitus management interventions is currently under research and a variety of therapeutic interventions have already been applied in clinical practice, no optimal and universal tinnitus treatment has been reached yet. This fact is to some extent a consequence of the high heterogeneity of the methodologies used in tinnitus related clinical studies. In this manuscript, we have identified, summarized, and critically appraised tinnitus-related randomized clinical trials since 2010, aiming at systematically mapping the research conducted in this area. The results of our analysis of the 73 included randomized clinical trials provide important insight on the identification of limitations of previous works, methodological pitfalls or gaps in current knowledge, a prerequisite for the adequate interpretation of current literature and execution of future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of Treatment Outcome between Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) and Transcutaneous Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) in Intractable Tinnitus
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(4), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10040635 - 07 Feb 2021
Abstract
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcutaneous direct current stimulation (tDCS) are non-invasive treatments for chronic tinnitus based on neuromodulation of cortical activity. Both are considered effective, but with heterogeneous results due to lack of established protocols. Because the target groups for both [...] Read more.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcutaneous direct current stimulation (tDCS) are non-invasive treatments for chronic tinnitus based on neuromodulation of cortical activity. Both are considered effective, but with heterogeneous results due to lack of established protocols. Because the target groups for both modalities overlap, it is difficult to recommend one of them. We tried to unify the inclusion criteria and treatment schedules to compare the two modalities. The medical charts of 36 patients who underwent rTMS as part of clinical routine were reviewed and data for 34 patients who underwent tDCS about 7 years later were collected prospectively. Both groups had chronic unilateral tinnitus refractory to medication. Patients were treated for 5 consecutive days, and tinnitus symptoms were evaluated by survey both at the end of the treatment schedule and 1 month after the treatment. The ratio of responders who showed >20% reduction in tinnitus handicap inventory scores were compared. At the end of the treatment, the rTMS group showed a rapid response compared to the tDCS group (rTMS, 30.6%; tDCS, 12.1%; p = 0.054). However, both groups showed a significant and similar reduction in tinnitus symptoms 1 month after the treatment (rTMS, 47.2%; tDCS, 36.4%; p = 0.618). As both groups showed comparable results for tinnitus reduction, tDCS may be superior in terms of cost-effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
A Systematic Review on the Association of Acquired Human Cytomegalovirus Infection with Hearing Loss
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(12), 4011; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9124011 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection induces a clinical syndrome usually associated with hearing loss. However, the effect of acquired CVM infection in adults and children has not been clearly defined. The objective of this review is to critically appraise scientific evidence regarding the association [...] Read more.
Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection induces a clinical syndrome usually associated with hearing loss. However, the effect of acquired CVM infection in adults and children has not been clearly defined. The objective of this review is to critically appraise scientific evidence regarding the association of acquired CMV infection with postnatal hearing loss or tinnitus. A systematic review of records reporting sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) or tinnitus and acquired CMV infection including articles published in English was performed. Search strategy was limited to human studies with acquired CMV infection. After screening and quality assessment, nine studies involving 1528 individuals fulfilled the inclusion criteria. A total of 14% of patients with SNHL showed evidence of previous exposure to CMV, while in individuals without SNHL (controls) the percentage rose up to 19.3%. SNHL was reported as unilateral or bilateral in 15.3%, and not specified in 84.7% of cases. The degree of SNHL ranged from mild to profound for both children and adults. None of the records reported tinnitus. The prevalence of children or adults with acquired SNHL with a confirmed acquired CMV infection by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or IgM anti-CMV antibodies is low. Phenotyping of patients with acquired CMV infection was limited to hearing loss by pure tone audiometry and no additional audiological testing was performed in most of the studies. Additional symptoms deserve more attention, including episodic vertigo or tinnitus, since some patients with the clinical spectrum of Meniere Disease could result from a CMV latent infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sex-Dependent Aggregation of Tinnitus in Swedish Families
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(12), 3812; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9123812 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Twin and adoption studies point towards a genetic contribution to tinnitus; however, how the genetic risk applies to different forms of tinnitus is poorly understood. Here, we perform a familial aggregation study and determine the relative recurrence risk for tinnitus in siblings (λs). [...] Read more.
Twin and adoption studies point towards a genetic contribution to tinnitus; however, how the genetic risk applies to different forms of tinnitus is poorly understood. Here, we perform a familial aggregation study and determine the relative recurrence risk for tinnitus in siblings (λs). Four different Swedish studies (N = 186,598) were used to estimate the prevalence of self-reported bilateral, unilateral, constant, and severe tinnitus in the general population and we defined whether these 4 different forms of tinnitus segregate in families from the Swedish Tinnitus Outreach Project (STOP, N = 2305). We implemented a percentile bootstrap approach to provide accurate estimates and confidence intervals for λs. We reveal a significant λs for all types of tinnitus, the highest found being 7.27 (95% CI (5.56–9.07)) for severe tinnitus, with a higher susceptibility in women (10.25; 95% CI (7.14–13.61)) than in men (5.03; 95% CI (3.22–7.01)), suggesting that severity may be the most genetically influenced trait in tinnitus in a sex-dependent manner. Our findings strongly support the notion that genetic factors impact on the development of tinnitus, more so for severe tinnitus. These findings highlight the importance of considering tinnitus severity and sex in the design of large genetic studies to optimize diagnostic approaches and ultimately improve therapeutic interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Article
The Effect of Environmental Stressors on Tinnitus: A Prospective Longitudinal Study on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(9), 2756; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092756 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 15
Abstract
Tinnitus, the perception of sound in the absence of a corresponding sound, and the distress caused by it, is rarely a static phenomenon. It rather fluctuates over time depending on endogenous and exogenous factors. The COVID-19 pandemic is a potential environmental stressor that [...] Read more.
Tinnitus, the perception of sound in the absence of a corresponding sound, and the distress caused by it, is rarely a static phenomenon. It rather fluctuates over time depending on endogenous and exogenous factors. The COVID-19 pandemic is a potential environmental stressor that might influence the individually perceived tinnitus distress. Since not all people are affected by the pandemic in the same way, the situation allows one to identify environmental factors and personality traits that impact tinnitus distress differently. In our study, 122 tinnitus patients were included at two time points: in the year 2018 and during the German lockdown in April 2020. We assessed tinnitus-related distress, depressive symptoms, personality characteristics and the individual perception of the pandemic situation. On average, there was only a small increase of tinnitus distress with heterogeneous changes during the lockdown. People perceiving the situation as generally stressful with increased grief, frustration, stress and nervousness reported the worsening of tinnitus distress. People with high values in neuroticism also reported the worsening of tinnitus distress, while the personality traits extraversion, conscientiousness and openness seemed to be a protection factor. The study identifies factors that influence tinnitus distress change during a pandemic and spots those patients that need specific help in the pandemic situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Association between Hyperacusis and Tinnitus
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(8), 2412; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9082412 - 28 Jul 2020
Cited by 17
Abstract
Many individuals with tinnitus report experiencing hyperacusis (enhanced sensitivity to sounds). However, estimates of the association between hyperacusis and tinnitus is lacking. Here, we investigate this relationship in a Swedish study. A total of 3645 participants (1984 with tinnitus and 1661 without tinnitus) [...] Read more.
Many individuals with tinnitus report experiencing hyperacusis (enhanced sensitivity to sounds). However, estimates of the association between hyperacusis and tinnitus is lacking. Here, we investigate this relationship in a Swedish study. A total of 3645 participants (1984 with tinnitus and 1661 without tinnitus) were enrolled via LifeGene, a study from the general Swedish population, aged 18–90 years, and provided information on socio-demographic characteristics, as well as presence of hyperacusis and its severity. Tinnitus presence and severity were self-reported or assessed using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). Phenotypes of tinnitus with (n = 1388) or without (n = 1044) hyperacusis were also compared. Of 1661 participants without tinnitus, 1098 (66.1%) were women and 563 were men (33.9%), and the mean (SD) age was 45.1 (12.9). Of 1984 participants with tinnitus, 1034 (52.1%) were women and 950 (47.9%) were men, and the mean (SD) age was 47.7 (14.0) years. Hyperacusis was associated with any tinnitus [Odds ratio (OR) 3.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.99–4.13], self-reported severe tinnitus (OR 7.43, 95% CI 5.06–10.9), and THI ≥ 58 (OR 12.1, 95% CI 7.06–20.6). The association with THI ≥ 58 was greater with increasing severity of hyperacusis, the ORs being 8.15 (95% CI 4.68–14.2) for moderate and 77.4 (95% CI 35.0–171.3) for severe hyperacusis. No difference between sexes was observed in the association between hyperacusis and tinnitus. The occurrence of hyperacusis in severe tinnitus is as high as 80%, showing a very tight relationship. Discriminating the pathophysiological mechanisms between the two conditions in cases of severe tinnitus will be challenging, and optimized study designs are necessary to better understand the mechanisms behind the strong relationship between hyperacusis and tinnitus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Brain, Hearing and Tinnitus Science)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop