alexa Relationships among psychoacoustic judgments, speech understanding ability and self-perceived handicap in tinnitus subjects.

Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

Author(s): Newman CW, Wharton JA, Shivapuja BG, Jacobson GP

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Abstract Tinnitus is often a disturbing symptom which affects 6-20\% of the population. Relationships among tinnitus pitch and loudness judgments, audiometric speech understanding measures and self-perceived handicap were evaluated in a sample of subjects with tinnitus and hearing loss (THL). Data obtained from the THL sample on the audiometric speech measures were compared to the performance of an age-matched hearing loss only (HL) group. Both groups had normal hearing through 1 kHz with a sloping configuration of < or = 20 dB/octave between 2-12 kHz. The THL subjects performed more poorly on the low predictability items of the Speech Perception in Noise Test, suggesting that tinnitus may interfere with the perception of speech signals having reduced linguistic redundancy. The THL subjects rated their tinnitus as annoying at relatively low sensation levels using the pitch-match frequency as the reference tone. Further, significant relationships were found between loudness judgment measures and self-rated annoyance. No predictable relationships were observed between the audiometric speech measures and perceived handicap using the Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire. These findings support the use of self-report measures in tinnitus patients in that audiometric speech tests alone may be insufficient in describing an individual's reaction to his/her communication breakdowns.
This article was published in Audiology and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

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