03 March 2020

Many people who have otosclerosis also experience tinnitus

Tinnitus is quite common among people who have otosclerosis, a Polish study finds.

More than 68% of patients with otosclerosis had preoperative tinnitus, according to a Polish study. The study evaluated the prevalence and severity of pre-operative tinnitus among a group of adult patients with otosclerosis and included patients qualified for treatment of otosclerosis by stapes surgery.

Otosclerosis is a common cause of acquired hearing loss with an incidence of 1-2% of the population. Otosclerosis is often treated with stapes surgery, a surgery in the middle ear.

Tinnitus in one or two ears

The study included 157 cases of clinical otosclerosis (106 women, 51 men). All the patients were tested using pure-tone audiometry. The pre-operative prevalence and severity of tinnitus were tested using three validated questionnaires: The Tinnitus and Hearing Survey (THS-POL), Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI-POL) and Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI-Pl).

The results of the study showed that 107 of the 157 patients with otosclerosis (68.2%) had pre-operative tinnitus. Of them, 51 (47.7%) had unilateral tinnitus (in the ear that qualified for stapes surgery) and 56 (52.3%) had bilateral tinnitus.

Among the participants, the average duration of hearing loss was 10.3 years and the average duration of tinnitus was 6.8 years.

Hearing loss a greater problem

76.6% of the patients had a greater problem with hearing loss than with tinnitus. For 13.1% of patients, tinnitus was more of a problem than hearing loss and for 10.3%, the negative effects of hearing loss and tinnitus were on the same level.

Tinnitus - a problem for some

For 29.9% of the patients, tinnitus was not a problem. For another 29.9%, it was a small problem and for 20.6%, it was a moderate, 15.9% big, and 3.7% a very big problem.

14% of the respondents found that tinnitus impacted daily life only slightly, for 41.1%, it had a mild impact, for 23.4% moderate, for 16.8% serious and for 4.7%, the impact was catastrophic.

53.3% of the patients indicated they had no problem tolerating sound. For 15%, sounds were a small problem, for 14.0% a moderate problem and for 17.7% a big or a very big problem.

The study “Prevalence and Severity of Tinnitus in Otosclerosis: Preliminary Findings from Validated Questionnaires” was published in The Journal of International Advanced Otology

Sources: www.ncbi.nilm.nih.gov and The Journal of International Advanced Otology

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