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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 302515, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/302515
Research Article

The Relevance of the High Frequency Audiometry in Tinnitus Patients with Normal Hearing in Conventional Pure-Tone Audiometry

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany
3Clinic Lech-Mangfall, 83734 Agatharied, Germany
4Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Zurich, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland

Received 3 November 2014; Accepted 8 January 2015

Academic Editor: Claus-Peter Richter

Copyright © 2015 Veronika Vielsmeier et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. The majority of tinnitus patients suffer from hearing loss. But a subgroup of tinnitus patients show normal hearing thresholds in the conventional pure-tone audiometry (125 Hz–8 kHz). Here we explored whether the results of the high frequency audiometry (>8 kHz) provide relevant additional information in tinnitus patients with normal conventional audiometry by comparing those with normal and pathological high frequency audiometry with respect to their demographic and clinical characteristics. Subjects and Methods. From the database of the Tinnitus Clinic at Regensburg we identified 75 patients with normal hearing thresholds in the conventional pure-tone audiometry. We contrasted these patients with normal and pathological high-frequency audiogram and compared them with respect to gender, age, tinnitus severity, pitch, laterality and duration, comorbid symptoms and triggers for tinnitus onset. Results. Patients with pathological high frequency audiometry were significantly older and had higher scores on the tinnitus questionnaires in comparison to patients with normal high frequency audiometry. Furthermore, there was an association of high frequency audiometry with the laterality of tinnitus. Conclusion. In tinnitus patients with normal pure-tone audiometry the high frequency audiometry provides useful additional information. The association between tinnitus laterality and asymmetry of the high frequency audiometry suggests a potential causal role for the high frequency hearing loss in tinnitus etiopathogenesis.