For some the discomfort of chronic tinnitus results in anxiety and depression, according to an Italian study.
An Italian study has shown that people who experience chronic tinnitus also have a significantly higher prevalence of anxiety and depression compared to the general population.
The study found a significant correlation between discomfort from tinnitus and levels of anxiety and depression.
Among the patients, the mean duration of the tinnitus was six years and nine months. Among the patients, the majority of the examined audiograms showed a symmetric bilateral hearing loss in the high frequencies (4 to 8 kHz). Only 16% of the patients had normal hearing.
The tinnitus-discomfort was reported as “slightly” by 32.5% of the patients. 15% had “mild” discomfort, 12% said that they had “moderate” discomfort while 25% and 15% said that their tinnitus-discomfort was “severe” or “catastrophic” respectively.
45% of the patients had anxiety symptoms, while 26.3% suffered from depressive symptoms. 42.5% of the patients did not show any sign of anxiety or depression.
About the study
The study was conducted by examining 80 tinnitus patients referred for chronic tinnitus at the Department of Otolaryngology of Catholic University in Rome in 2015.
The study “Relationship between Tinnitus Perception and Psychiatric Discomfort” was published in the International Tinnitus Journal in April 2017.