Changes in Tinnitus after Cochlear Implantation and Its Relation with Psychological FunctioningKloostra F.J.J. · Arnold R. · Hofman R. · Van Dijk P.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
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This study retrospectively assessed the prevalence of tinnitus in cochlear implant patients and the changes after implantation in 212 patients implanted between 2000 and 2009. Patients were included at least 6 months after implantation and received 2 sets of questionnaires, one about the situation before implantation and one about the situation after implantation. Mostly standardized questionnaires assessed tinnitus handicap (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, THI, and Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire, THQ), tinnitus characteristics, hearing loss (Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit) and anxiety/depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Of the approached patients, 117 completed the full sets of questionnaires and 35 completed a short version. Preoperative tinnitus was reported by 51.3% of these patients, of which 55.6% reported a reduction or cessation of their tinnitus after implantation. However, 8.2% of the patients with tinnitus reported a postoperative deterioration of their tinnitus. In addition, among the patients without preoperative tinnitus, 19.6% reported the start of tinnitus after implantation. The self-reported change of tinnitus correlated with the pre- and postoperative scores on the THI and THQ. The THQ showed slightly more changes in scores after cochlear implantation compared to the THI. Overall hearing handicap and feelings of anxiety and depression decreased after implantation. In conclusion, tinnitus is reduced after cochlear implantation in an important part of the patients, but in a small part implantation has a negative effect on tinnitus. When tinnitus starts after implantation, the tinnitus handicap is mild.
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