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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2010, Article ID 265861, 8 pages
Research Article

Investigation of Tinnitus Patients in Italy: Clinical and Audiological Characteristics

1Dipartimento di Neuroscienze Cliniche (DINeC), Sezione di Otorinolaringoiatria, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Via del Vespro, 129-90127 Palermo, Italy
2Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Mediche e Medicina Legale (DIBiMed), Sezione di Audiologia, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Via del Vespro, 129-90127 Palermo, Italy
3Dipartimento di Matematica e Applicazioni, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Via Archirafi, 34-90123 Palermo, Italy

Received 1 October 2009; Revised 22 February 2010; Accepted 4 May 2010

Academic Editor: Robert K. Shepherd

Copyright © 2010 Francesco Martines 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.


Objective. 312 tinnitus sufferers were studied in order to analyze: the clinical characteristics of tinnitus; the presence of tinnitus-age correlation and tinnitus-hearing loss correlation; the impact of tinnitus on subjects' life and where possible the etiological/predisposing factors of tinnitus. Results. There is a slight predominance of males. The highest percentage of tinnitus results in the decades 61–70. Of the tinnitus sufferers, 197 (63.14%) have a hearing deficit (light hearing loss in 37.18% of cases). The hearing impairment results of sensorineural type in 74.62% and limited to the high frequencies in 58.50%. The tinnitus is referred as unilateral in 59.93%, a pure tone in 66.99% and 10 dB above the hearing threshold in 37.7%. It is limited to high frequencies in 72.10% of the patients with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) while the 88.37% of the patients with high-frequency SNHL have a high-pitched tinnitus ( 𝜒 2 = 6 6 . 2 6 ; 𝑃 < . 0 0 5 ). Conclusion. Hearing status and age represent the principal tinnitus related factors; there is a statistically significant association between high-pitched tinnitus and high-frequency SNHL. There is no significant correlation between tinnitus severity and tinnitus loudness confirming the possibility that neural connection involved in evoking tinnitus-related negative reactions are governed by conditioned reflexes.