[Skip to Navigation]
December 1992

Tinnitus Suppression Following Cochlear Implantation: A Multifactorial Investigation

Author Affiliations

From the University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118(12):1291-1297. doi:10.1001/archotol.1992.01880120017004

• The effects of cochlear implant on loudness, annoyance, daily duration, location, and residual inhibition of tinnitus were evaluated by a closed-ended, quantifiable questionnaire in 33 postlingually deafened patients who had received implants at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, between 1986 and 1990. Preoperative tinnitus was present in 85% of patients. A statistical comparison of preoperative vs postoperative loudness and annoyance indicated a significant reduction in both of these complaints postoperatively. Loudness and annoyance were significantly correlated, both preoperatively and postoperatively. Fifteen patients (54%) with preoperative tinnitus demonstrated a loudness decrease of 30% or more; 43% demonstrated an annoyance decrease of 30% or more; and 48% demonstrated a decrease of 30% or more in daily tinnitus duration. Patients who experienced a loudness or annoyance decrease of 30% or more after implantation demonstrated significantly higher preoperative levels of these complaints, suggesting that degree of tinnitus reduction after implantation may be related to preoperative loudness and annoyance levels. Contralateral tinnitus suppression was reported by 42% of patients. Residual inhibition ranging from 60 seconds to several hours was reported by 50% of patients, predominantly in the ear with the implant. Age, gender, cause of hearing loss, duration of tinnitus, cochlear implant usage, and time after implantation were not predictive of tinnitus suppression. Overall, the majority of the patients (74%) thought that their cochlear implant was helpful in tinnitus suppression, especially in the ear with the implant. Contralateral residual inhibition and tinnitus suppression suggest a central mechanism contributing to these phenomena.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1992;118;1291-1297)

Add or change institution