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Tinnitus suppression after cochlear implantation in patients with single-sided deafness

Abstract

Background

Tinnitus associated with single-sided deafness (SSD) is frequent and often incapacitating, and is difficult to treat. Numerous studies have reported the suppression of tinnitus by electrical stimulation of the acoustic pathway through a cochlear implant (CI), with a low risk of worsening of tinnitus after implantation.

Objective

The main aim of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of CI as a treatment option in patients with SSD and incapacitating tinnitus.

Patients and methods

We studied the tinnitus-suppression effect of CI in a series of 13 patients with unilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss (SSD), associated with incapacitating tinnitus with normal hearing in the contralateral ear. Tinnitus impact was measured with the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), and tinnitus severity was measured with the Tinnitus Rating Scale (TRS) before and after CI.

Results

Thirteen patients were enrolled in this study, eight men and five women, ranging in age from 24 to 60 years with a mean±SD of 40±10 years. Mean scores for THI and TRS were obtained preoperatively and at 1 and 3 months postoperatively after activation of the CI. Mean scores for the THI total scores ranged from 79.6±7 preoperatively to 12±13.5 at 3 months postoperatively. Mean scores for the TRS ranged from 4.53±0.5 preoperatively to 1.46±0.5 at 3 months postoperatively. The postoperative THI and TRS improved significantly as compared with the baseline preoperative scores (P<0.005).

Conclusion

The outcome of the current study supports the belief that CI is not only a treatment option for hearing loss in SSD but also a treatment option to suppress tinnitus.

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Correspondence to Mohamed F. M. Ahmed.

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Ahmed, M.F.M., Khater, A. Tinnitus suppression after cochlear implantation in patients with single-sided deafness. Egypt J Otolaryngol 33, 61–66 (2017). https://doi.org/10.4103/1012-5574.199404

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Keywords

  • cochlear implantation
  • single-sided deafness
  • Tinnitus Handicap Inventory
  • tinnitus