Tinnitus News and Notes: 2015
It is estimated that some 50 million people in the United States experience tinnitus. Indeed, the “80/80 Rule” (Beck, 2012) states that approximately 80 percent of patients who have hearing loss have tinnitus and some 80 percent of patients who have tinnitus have hearing loss,“thus indicating a high correlation, but certainly not causation….” (Beck et al, 2014).
Theodoroff and colleagues (2015) reported on 89 veterans and noted when people experience tinnitus “in their head” (as opposed to their ears), they are three times as likely to benefit from tinnitus management.
With regard to the origin of tinnitus, Moller (2012) reported that severe tinnitus often starts with an ear or auditory nerve disorder and either sound deprivation or overstimulation can promote neural plastic changes within the auditory system. Moller reports tinnitus may originate through non-classical pathways, such as the amygdala and/or other structures within the limbic system, the motor cortex, the somatosensory system, and more. Sanchez and Akemi (2008) reported tinnitus may originate from a vast array of anatomical and physiological sources and interactions including sensory-motor systems, cognitive and emotional networks, as well as gaze-evoked tinnitus, cutaneous-evoked tinnitus, and more.
Most recently, Sedley and Gander (2015) reported on a patient with both epilepsy and tinnitus. The patient underwent invasive electrode monitoring and the researchers noted the apparent origin of tinnitus (for this individual) involved the majority of the auditory cortex as well as other parts of the brain, from which the processing of sound is usually not associated.
For More Information, References, and Recommendations
Beck DL. (2012) British Academy of Audiology. Podium presentation.
Beck DL, DePlacido C, Paxton C. (2014) Issues in Tinnitus: 2014-2015. Hearing Review October.
Moller A. (2012) Hyperactive Disorders of the Auditory System. In Hearing-Anatomy, Physiology and Disorders of the Auditory System. Chapter 10. Pages 321-340. Published by Plural Publishing.
SanchezTG, Akemi MA. (2008) Modulating Tinnitus with Visual, Muscular and Tactile Stimulation. Seminars in Hearing, Tinnitus Part Two 29(4):November.
Sedley W, Gander P. (2015) In Search of Tinnitus, that Phantom Ringing in the Ears. Iowa Now April 23.
Theodoroff SM, Schuette A, Griest S, Henry JA. (2014) Individual Patient Factors Associated with Effective Tinnitus Treatment. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 25:631-643.