The International Tinnitus Journal

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

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Rating the Annoyance of Synthesized Tinnitus

Author(s): M. J. Penner

Ten tinnitus sufferers mimicked the sensation caused by their tinnitus with a complex sound pattern consisting of the sum of sine waves. The annoyance of these ten sounds was then rated on a scale from I (not annoying) to 10 (very annoying) by some of the tinnitus sufferers and by 50 normal-hearing subjects. For the normal-hearing subjects, the number assigned to rate the annoyance of each sound varied widely from subject to subject, while the rank ordering of the ratings was in rough agreement. Because rankings have less inter-subject variability than ratings, ranking are likely preferable as a dependent variable in the clinical assessment of tinnitus. The correlation between the ratings of the ten stimuli by the subjects with normal hearing and the subjects with tinnitus averaged 0.90, indicating that the tinnitus sufferers and the normal-hearing subjects tended to judge the annoyance of the sounds in a similar fashion. Further, the rating of the subject's own tinnitus lay near the regression line, indicating that the subject judged his own tinnitus imitation no differently than he judged the annoyance of other sounds.