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Author: admin | 21.01.2015 | Category: Relieve Tinnitus

Send Home Our method Usage examples Index Contact StatisticsWe do not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content in this site. This study evaluated the interference of tinnitus on the quality of life for noiseexposed workers enrolled in a hearing conservation program. Most tinnitus research has focused on effective treatments and the mechanisms of the cause, detection, and perception of tinnitus. In addition to its medical and audiological aspects, the psychosocial consequences of tinnitus can be of significance and have also been investigated.
Tinnitus is a common complaint among noise-exposed workers, and in some countries it is even recognized as a work-related condition for compensation purposes. The objective of our study is to evaluate the impact of tinnitus on the quality of life of workers who are exposed to noise and enrolled in a corporate hearing conservation program. We enrolled participants from a meat-packing facility in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
We administered a questionnaire to all the employees of the company (N = 372) at the beginning of the training sessions of their hearing conservation program. To assess the workers' hearing status, we performed otoscopy and pure-tone audiometry, according to the requirements of the Brazilian legislation [10].
We administered to the 52 participants the Brazilian version of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) questionnaire, elaborated by Newman et al.
We calculated Pearson coefficients of linear correlation and tested their significances via the Student's t -test and Fisher's exact test, using a significance level of 5%. Eighty-two workers (22%) of the total population of 372 workers in the studied company reported tinnitus in the first interview of this study. Company records also indicated that 15% of the participants who were exposed to noise were also exposed to other hazards. The results of the relationship between tinnitus and the three THI scales are presented in Figure 2. Table 2 displays the correlations between the functional, emotional, and catastrophic scales and medical history. Table 3 presents the correlations of the THI results with the health problems described by the participants (n = 52). We separated the participants into two groups: The first was composed of 37 participants with normal hearing (71%), and the second included 6 participants (12%) with a bilateral high-frequency notch. Twenty-two percent of the noise-exposed participants complained of tinnitus, a finding comparable to rates of 25% reported by Sahley and Nodar [14] and 15.5% reported by Zimmermann [15].
Seventy-one percent of the participants with tinnitus complaints presented normal audiometric results, which suggests that tinnitus can be an early indicator of auditory risk from exposure to noise. The application of the Brazilian version of the THI was both easy and expedient, as indicated by Newman et al. In Table 2, we found significant results involving the functional scale results with the use of prescription drugs and the catastrophic scale results with consumption of coffee. Concerning the degree of severity of tinnitus, 44% presented degree 1 or "slight" tinnitus according to the classification by McCombe et al. We observed a significant correlation between tinnitus severity and exposure to noise and chemical pollutants, predominantly CO. We observed a significant correlation between the duration of noise exposure and the emotional scale for the participants with high-frequency notches, suggesting an extra-auditory effect of noise.
The results of this study demonstrated that the prevalence of tinnitus was high (22%) in this population, despite the fact that study participants were young individuals who had a short duration of noise exposure. The Brazilian version of the THI proved to be an easy instrument to use for evaluating the impact of tinnitus on the quality of life of noise-exposed workers. Noise measurements, a questionnaire, a Brazilian version of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), and pure-tone audiometry were conducted with 52 participants (mean age, 29 years) who suffered from tinnitus. Among the risk factors for tinnitus, the most prominent are age, gender, various diseases (otological, metabolic, neurological, and vascular alterations and dental factors), hearing loss, and exposure to noise, ototoxic drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol [1-4]. Tinnitus can alter an individual's ability to function in professional, social, and leisure activities and in family relationships, hence affecting the quality of life [5,6]. In addition to being beneficial for clinical applications, the tinnitus questionnaires are valuable for understanding the relationship between personality and the psychopathology of tinnitus, its impact on the daily life of persons who suffer from tinnitus, the difficulties and the perception of social support in relation to the problem, and the incapacities and the difficulties produced by tinnitus that can seriously affect quality of life [7-9].


Occupational hearing loss prevention initiatives rarely focus on the prevention and management of tinnitus.
The company employs 372 workers (120 female, 252 male) working in two fixed 8-hour and 48-minute shifts.
The questionnaire gathered information on demographics and occupational and medical histories for each worker. We also used Spearman's rank correlations to examine the results of exposure information versus the outcome.
Because of attrition, we were able to study only 52 workers (14% of total population of the plant). Of those, 62% were exposed to carbon monoxide (CO), 13% to CO and vibration, 12% to hydrochloric acid, and 13% to sodium hydroxide.
We observed that of the 52 participants, 71% had normal audiometric results, whereas 12% presented a bilateral high-frequency notch and 17% presented audiometric configurations of hearing loss due to causes other than noise, such as unilateral losses and flat audiometric configuration. Median of hearing thresholds for the groups with normal hearing (all thresholds 25 dB hearing level [HL]), hearing loss configurations suggestive of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), and hearing loss from various causes.
The distribution of poorest scores across scales of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory, in percent (n = 52).
We observed a significant correlation between headaches (p = .0458) and the duration of tinnitus. We did not include the remaining 9 individuals (17%), who displayed other audiometric configurations of hearing loss in the statistical analysis.
The prevalence of tinnitus complaints in male subjects was 16% and in female subjects was 9%, similar to what has been reported [16-18].
Schleuning [2] explained that caffeine and nicotine could aggravate tinnitus because they are stimulants and can induce the constriction of blood vessels.
The participants of the study who had such combined exposure had a higher degree of tinnitus severity.
Moreover, a negative impact of tinnitus on the subjects' quality of life could de detected. The 22% tinnitus rate among workers, most of whom nonetheless had normal hearing, suggests a need to address tinnitus in occupational hearing loss prevention initiatives.
Rick Davis and Robert Randolph (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, USA) and Alberto Behar (University of Toronto, Canada) provided helpful critiques of the manuscript. THI results indicated that tinnitus had the greatest influence in the functional scale (54%). We used the overall result to identify the degree of severity of tinnitus for each individual and for completing an analysis of the total scores by scales. Of all noise-exposed female workers in the plant, 11 (9%) reported having experienced tinnitus, and 41 (16%) of the noise-exposed male workers reported the condition. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient results indicated a significant correlation between noise levels and how often workers experience tinnitus (p = .01). We also observed a significant correlation between the duration of noise and the functional scale (p = .039).
It is important to notice that the average age of the population of our study (29.2 years) is younger than in other studies, which reported results from groups whose mean ages varied from 40 to 50 years and who had a short duration of noise exposure (average, 7 years)[18-21] . According to that author, doctors believe that 50% of patients with complaints of tinnitus improve significantly when they stop smoking or reduce caffeine intake. In recent decades, studies have demonstrated that simultaneous chronic exposure to CO and noise represents a potential risk to hearing, but reports of tinnitus exist only for cases of intense poisoning from CO [24]. This supports the inclusion of tinnitus prevention initiatives alongside workplace hearing loss prevention initiatives because of shared causal factors. Information on tinnitus prevention and treatment could have a measurable, positive impact on a person's quality of life. The authors thank all those who participated in the study for their time, interest, and cooperation. Guidelines for the grading of tinnitus severity: The results of a working group commissioned by the British Association of Otolaryngologists.
Eighty-two individuals (22% of the total population) had experienced tinnitus and were invited to participate in the study.


The equipment used was an Interacoustics audiometer, model AD 229, with TDH-39 earphones, calibrated according to ISO 8253. The average age of the sample was 29.2 years, and the average duration of noise exposure was 7 years. Moreover, significant results were found for the degree of tinnitus and exposure to chemical pollutants (p = .02). The THI indicated that even the degree 1 "slight" tinnitus experienced by most of the participants who reported tinnitus nevertheless had an impact on their quality of life. For instance, lesions in the neck and the middle ear and sinusitis and headaches increase the risk of tinnitus from 28% to 35%. The findings underscore the need for noise control and other effective strategies to mitigate causal factors. The use of an instrument designed to evaluate the impact of tinnitus on a person's life, such as the THI, can contribute to a greater understanding of the needs of a specific person or group (or both).
Experiencia do hospital das clinicas da faculdade de medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo. Twenty (24%) of the 82 were not able to participate because they lost their jobs before collection of data, 5 (6%) declined to participate saying that they no longer had symptoms of tinnitus, and 5 (6%) were on vacation at the time of data collection.
We performed puretone audiometry for all subjects at frequencies of 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz.
The functional subscale, composed of 11 questions, evaluates the limitations that tinnitus induces in the mental, social, occupational, and physical areas. Table 1 displays the findings pertaining to the health problems and auditory and medical histories described by the participants. In the THI, tinnitus was shown to have the greatest relationship to the functional scale (54%), indicating that its impact is more noticeable in social, daily, and reading activities involving concentration, auditory acuity, attention, and rest.
The analysis of the THI results along with the audiometric results indicated that a considerably greater number of significant correlations were verified in the group with altered hearing, which was expected because the two conditions-compromised hearing and tinnitus-are often associated. Information dissemination on the risks and prevention alternatives is of great importance, as is the management of tinnitus. Finally, it could be used in the design of appropriate strategies to manage tinnitus in the workplace.
Therefore, the final sample of the study consisted of 52 participants: 11 females (9% of the total of 120 noiseexposed female workers in the studied plant) and 41 males (16% of the total of 252 noise-exposed male workers in the studied plant).
The emotional subscale, composed of 9 questions, includes affective answers for tinnitus (anger, frustration, irritability, and depression). All participants exposed to noise levels greater than 85 dB are required to use ear muffs, and information on their use and maintenance are given when workers are hired. The emotional scale was the second most affected and is related to manifestations of nervousness, frustration, irritation, depression, anxiety, insecurity, and difficulty in relationships with family and friends. Estabelece diretrizes e parametros minimos para avaliacao e acompanhamento da audicao dos trabalhadores expostos a niveis de pressao sonora elevados. We also performed daily biological calibration checks on the audiometer immediately before testing subjects.
Last, the catastrophic subscale is composed of 5 questions and examines the most severe reactions from tinnitus (desperation, loss of control, inability to face problems, inability to escape tinnitus, and fear of having a serious ailment)[12].
Walkthrough observations suggest that use of the hearing protection is high, but no information exists on the consistency of hearing protection use. The catastrophic scale demonstrated alterations related to desperation, intolerance to tinnitus, and loss of control in situations when experiencing tinnitus (see Fig. In our study, factors such as gender, age, tobacco, and exposure to firearms were not significantly associated with tinnitus.
Coles [26], among several authors, reported that the worse the hearing is, the more probable is the occurrence of tinnitus.
Approximately 20% of the patients with hearing loss present complaints of tinnitus, whereas 90% of those with severe tinnitus had hearing loss.



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