Tinnitus and Ménière’s disease: characteristics and prognosis in a tinnitus clinic sample

Abstract

The aim of this study is to describe tinnitus epidemiological characteristics in Ménière’s disease (MD), the prognosis and its interaction with other MD symptoms. It is a descriptive transversal study. One hundred two MD patients were referred to a tinnitus clinic. Tinnitus was evaluated according to psychoacoustical tinnitogram, visual analogue scale, and tinnitus handicap inventory (THI). All patients were diagnosed with definitive MD (following AAO-HNS’ 95 criteria). Pitch was more commonly identified in low and medium frequencies. Psychoacoustical intensity was matched in 12.7 dB. The visual analogue scale showed a value of 7.1, while THI score reached an average of 49%. Compared with other aetiologies (acoustic trauma, otosclerosis), MD showed a statistical difference in tinnitus severity parameters (P<0.05). Tinnitus increased VAS and THI score as a function of duration and bilateral disease (P<0.01). We found a statistical association (P<0.05) between tinnitus intensity and worse hearing loss or hyperacusis, but it was not influenced by number of vertigo spells. Higher MD stage increased tinnitus intensity and handicap. Tinnitus in MD patients referred to our tinnitus clinic presents a high intensity and handicap levels and represents the most troublesome symptom. Severity is influenced by the longer duration of the disease, the bilateral affection, hearing impairment or hyperacusis and a higher MD stage.

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