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Research Article Open Access
INTRODUCTION: In our clinical experience, some of the patients affected by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) reported the onset of tinnitus shortly before or in association with the positional vertigo.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence and the clinical patterns of tinnitus episodes which occurred in association with BPPV and to suggest possible interpretative hypotheses.
METHODS: 171 normal hearing patients affected by BPPV (50 males and 122 females; age range: 25-77 years; mean age 60.3 years ± 14.9) underwent pure tone audiometry, immittance test and a clinical vestibular evaluation before and after repositioning manoeuvers. Those suffering from tinnitus were also assessed using visual analogue scales and tinnitus handicap inventory.
RESULTS: 19.3% of the patients reported the appearance of tinnitus concurrently with the onset of the positional vertigo. It was mostly unilateral, localized on the same ear as the BPPV, slight in intensity and intermittent. Tinnitus disappeared or decreased in all patients except two, either spontaneously, before performing the therapeutic manoeuvers, or shortly after.
CONCLUSIONS: A possible vestibular origin of tinnitus determined by the detachment of macular debris into the ductus reuniens and cochlear duct is discussed.
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Author(s): Stefania Barozzi Marina Socci Daniela Ginocchio Eliana Filipponi Maria Grazia Troja Martinazzoli and Antonio Cesarani
tinnitus, vertigo, vestibular diseases.