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


Tinnitus Program at Brasilia University Medical School

Author(s): Carlos A. Oliveira, Alessandra Venosa, and Mercedes F. Araujo

Over the last 6 months, all patients seen at the otologic clinic of Brasflia University Medical School answered a questionnaire designed to identify and describe the symptom of tinnitus. A total of 500 patients reported and described this symptom. They underwent physical examination, laboratory tests and audiological evaluation. In their order of frequency, presbycusis, chronic otitis media, otosclerosis, acoustic trauma, Meniere's disease, ototoxicity, and vestibular schwannoma were found. Tinnitus was rated as minor in 81 %, moderate in 18%, and severely disabling in 1 %. Those who requested treatment for tinnitus were treated medically. Central vasodilators, vestibular suppressants, calcium channel blockers, anticholinergic drugs, anticonvulsant drugs, and gingko biloba were used with variable results. Tinnitus maskers were not used, but hearing prostheses were fitted when indicated. Treatment failed in the 1 % with severe disabling tinnitus, and they were entered in a double-blind, randomized protocol for intratympanic dexamethasone injection. Under topical anesthesia, 0.2 ml of a 4-mg/ml dexamethasone solution (0.8 mg per injection) or 0.2 ml of normal saline was injected just posterior to the umbo. Patients remained supine for 20 minutes with the injected ear up and received four injections at I-week intervals. Preliminary results are reported. Tinnitus is a very frequent symptom among our otologic patients, but most of them would not mention the symptom spontaneously, probably because for 81 % it was mild. Curiously, the 5% of the severely disabling type tend to exhibit no clear cause, whereas the mild and moderate cases usually have an identifiable etiology.