Risk factors for tinnitus in a population of older adults: the blue mountains hearing study.
ABSTRACT To identify potential and modifiable risk factors for tinnitus in a population of older adults.
Cross-sectional study. Detailed questionnaires were interviewer-administered in a representative sample of 2015 persons aged 55+ yr, living in an area west of Sydney, Australia. Air- and bone-conduction audiometric thresholds were measured from 250 to 8000 Hz and from 500 to 4000 Hz, respectively. TEOAE and SOAE were measured for both ears.
After adjusting for multiple variables in a Cox proportional hazards model, factors that significantly increased the risk of tinnitus were poorer hearing and cochlear function, self-reported work-related noise exposure, and history of middle ear or sinus infections, severe neck injury or migraine.
Interventions aimed at reducing age-related hearing loss, particularly by reducing excessive work-related noise exposure, and the effective, timely treatment of ear-related infections, may all decrease the risk of tinnitus.
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ABSTRACT: Tinnitus is an interaction of the environment, cognition, and plasticity. The connection between the individual with tinnitus and their world seldom receives attention in neurophysiological research. As well as changes in cell excitability, an individual's culture and beliefs, and work and social environs may all influence how tinnitus is perceived. In this review, an ecological framework for current neurophysiological evidence is considered. The model defines tinnitus as the perception of an auditory object in the absence of an acoustic event. It is hypothesized that following deafferentation: adaptive feature extraction, schema, and semantic object formation processes lead to tinnitus in a manner predicted by Adaptation Level Theory (1, 2). Evidence from physiological studies is compared to the tenants of the proposed ecological model. The consideration of diverse events within an ecological context may unite seemingly disparate neurophysiological models.Frontiers in neurology. 01/2014; 5:271.