The International Tinnitus Journal


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The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448


Pediatric and Geriatric Tinnitus

Author(s): L. Podoshin, J. Ben-David, and C. B. Teszler

The subject of tinnitus in the population extremes-children and the elderly-is ignored by the literature, probably because children do not complain of tinnitus spontaneously, whereas it is only one challenge among other major health problems in the elderly. A short review of the literature on this subject is presented. Presby tinnitus, defined as tinnitus that accompanies the progressive hearing loss of presbycusis is classified as: type 1 (normal aging affecting the cochlea), and type II (preexistent sensorineural hearing loss accompanied by multiple systemic complaints, especially of sensory ones). The incidence of tinnitus in presbycusis is 11%. Like in other age groups, there is no significant gender predilection in the prevalence of tinnitus, but a correlation was demonstrated between the severity of tinnitus and exposure to noise. Hypertension was associated with a lower incidence of tinnitus, as compared to normotension and hypotension. Several treatment modalities of geriatric tinnitus are reviewed: the superiority of the band-noise masker in patients with presbycusis, as compared to electrical promontory stimulation; arnino-oxyacetic in presbycusis and Meniere's disease; zinc supplementation in marginally zinc-deficient elderly patients in improving sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus; aeration of the middle ear in presbycusis caused by secretory otitis media. Pediatric tinnitus has an incidence of 13% in children who passed an audiometric screening test, and 23-60% in those with hearing loss, 44% in secretory otitis media, but only 3% complain spontaneously because that the child considers tinnitus to be a normal event. There is no significant difference between children with tinnitus and those without in terms of hearing level, age, gender, or etiology of the deafness. Despite the fact that often children do not mention it, tinnitus may incite behavioral problems.