Impact of tinnitus on quality of life: a review


  • Santosh Kumar Swain Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, IMS and SUM Hospital, Siksha “O” Anusandhan University, Kalinga Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India



Tinnitus, Hearing loss, Quality of life, Tinnitus handicap inventory


Tinnitus is a poorly understood disorder in medicine. Tinnitus is an auditory perception of the sound in the ear or head in the absence of the external or internal stimuli. It is a common medical symptom which can be debilitating to all age group although frequently associated with elderly individuals. Tinnitus may be associated with lower health related quality of life (HRQoL). Tinnitus is a disturbing otological symptoms and often associated with hearing loss. The risk factors for tinnitus are hearing loss, ototoxicity, head injury and depression. It poses a challenge to the quality of the life. Tinnitus is a symptom which can be associated with various diseases of the external, middle or inner ear, brain stem and cerebral cortex. Tinnitus is frequently seen clinical finding and its adversity affects the quality of life in relatively small proportions of the individuals. The quality of the life is often affected in terms of psychological or emotional effects, sleep disturbance, auditory and health effects. Tinnitus can be debilitating to the sufferers. The quality of the life is often affected in terms of psychological or emotional effects, sleep disturbance, auditory and health effects.  Hearing assessment and   evaluation of quality of life should be advocated in routine assessment of the tinnitus patients. The objective of this study was to discuss the impact of tinnitus on quality of life.


Swain SK, Sahu MC, Samal R, Padhy RN. Incidence of hearing loss, tinnitus and vertigo among Diabetes patients. Siriraj Med J. 2014;66:179-84.

Swain SK, Nayak S, Ravan JR, Sahu MC. Tinnitus and its current treatment-Still an enigma in medicine. J Formosan Med Assoc. 2016;115(3):139-44.

Hall DA, Lainez MJ, Newman CW, Sanchez TG, Egler M, Tennigkeit F, Koch M, et al. Treatment options for subjective tinnitus: self reports from a sample of general practitioners and ENT physicians within Europe and the USA. BMC Health Serv Res. 2011;11:302.

Belli H, Belli S, Oktay MF, Ural C. Psychopathological dimensions of tinnitus and psychopharmacologic approaches in its treatment. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2012;34(3):282-9.

Bauer CA. Tinnitus and hyperacusis. In: Flint PW, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2015: 2336-2343.

Sogebi OA. Characterization of tinnitus in Nigeria. Auris Nasus Larynx. 2013;40(4):356-60.

Paula EAF, Cunha F, Onishi ET, Branco BFC, Ganança FF. Tinnitus Handicap Inventory: cross-cultural adaptation to Brazilian Portuguese. Pro Fono. 2005;17(3):303-10.

Steinmetz LG, Zeigelboim BS, Lacerda AB, Morata TC, Marques JM. Evaluating tinnitus in industrial hearing loss prevention programs. Int Tinnitus J. 2008;14(2):152-8.

Sanchez TG, Bento RF, Minti A, Camara J. Zumbido: característic as epidemiologia: experiencia do Hospital das Clinicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo. Rev Bras Otorrinolaringol. 1997;63(3):229-35.

Krog NH, Engdahl B, Tambs K. The association between tinnitus and mental health in a general population sample: results from the HUNT Study. J Psychosom Res. 2010;69(3):289-98.

Nondahl DM, Cruickshanks KJ, Wiley TL, Klein BE, Klein R, Chappell R, Tweed TS. The ten-year incidence of tinnitus among older adults. Int J Audiol. 2010;49(8):580-5.

Heller AJ. Classification and epidemiology of tinnitus. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2003;36(2):239-48.

Seidman MD, Jacobson GP. Update on tinnitus. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 1996;29(3):455-65.

Sataloff J, Sataloff RT, Lueneburg W. Tinnitus and vertigo in healthy senior citizens without a history of noise exposure. Am J Otol. 1987;8(2):87-9.

Eggermont JJ. Pathophysiology of tinnitus. Prog Brain Res. 2007;166:19-35.

Eggermont JJ, Roberts LE. The neuroscience of tinnitus. Trends Neurosci. 2004;27(11):676-82.

Nondahl DM, Cruickshanks KJ, Wiley TL, Klein BE, Klein R, Chappell R, et al. The ten-year incidence of tinnitus among older adults. Int J Audiol. 2010;49(8):580-5.

Norena AJ, Eggermont JJ. Changes in spontaneous neural activity immediately after an acoustic trauma: implications for neural correlates of tinnitus. Hear Res. 2003;183(1-2):137-53.

Swain SK, Behera IC, Sahu MC. Tinnitus among children-Our experiences in a tertiary care teaching hospital of eastern India. Pediatria polska. 2017;92(5):513-7.

Steinmetz LG, Zeigelboim BS, Lacerda AB, Morata TC, Marques JM. The characteristics of tinnitus in workers exposed to noise. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. 2009;75(1):7-14.

Swain SK, Pattnaik T, Mohanty JN. Otological and rhinological manifestations in pregnancy: Our experiences at a tertiary care teaching hospital of east India. Int J Health Allied Sci. 2020;9(2):159.

Coles RR. Epidemiology of tinnitus: (1) prevalence. J Laryngol Otol Suppl. 1984;9:7-15.

Zoger S, Svedlund J, Holgers KM. Relationship between tinnitus severity and psychiatric disorders. Psychosomatics. 2006;47(4):282-8.

Bayar N, Oguzturk O, Koc C. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory profile of patients with subjective tinnitus. J Otolaryngol. 2002;31(5):317-22.

Lee SY, Kim JH, Hong SH, Lee DS. Roles of cognitive characteristics in tinnitus patients. J Korean Med Sci. 2004;19(6):864-9.

Bartels H, Middel B, Pedersen SS, Staal MJ, Albers FW. The distressed (Type D) personality is independently associated with tinnitus: a case-control study. Psychosomatics. 2010;51(1):29-38.

Sanchez TG, Zonato AY, Bittar RSM, Bento RF. Controversias sobre a fisiologia do zumbido. Arq Fund Otorrinolaringol.1997;1(1):2-8.

Coelho CCB, Sanchez TG, Bento RF. Caracteristicas do zumbido em pacientes atendidos em serviço de referencia. Arq Int Otorrinolaringol. 2004;8(3):284-92.

Hiller W, Goebel G. Factors influencing tinnitus loudness and annoyance. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;132(12):1323-30.

Searchfield GD. Tinnitus what and where: an ecological framework. Front Neurol. 2014;5:271.

Gabr TA, Hay MA, Badawy A. Electrophysiological and psychological studies in tinnitus. Auris Nasus Larynx. 2011;38(6):678-83.

Monzani D, Genovese E, Marrara A, Gherpelli C, Pingani L, Forghieri M, et al. Validity of the Italian adaptation of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory; focus on quality of life and psychological distress in tinnitus-sufferers. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2008;28(3):126-34.

Newman CW, Jacobson GP, Spitzer JB. Development of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1996;122(2):143-8.

Ware JE, Snow KK, Kosinski M, Gandek B. SF-36 Health Survey: Manual and Interpretation Guide. 2nd ed. Boston: Health Institute; 1993.

Langguth B, Elgoyhen AB, Ridder D, Salvi RJ. Positive spontaneous auditory phenomena: tinnitus. Disord Peripher Central Aaudit Process. 2013;1(10):345.

Henry JA, Dennis KC, Schechter MA. General review of tinnitus: prevalence, mechanisms, effects, and management. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2005;48(5):1204-35.

Bennett M, Kertesz T, Yeung P. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Laryngol Otol. 2005;119(10):791-8.

Searchfield GD, Magnusson J, Shakes G, Biesinger E, Kong O. Counseling and psycho-education for tinnitus management. Textbook of tinnitus. New York: Springer; 2011: 535-556.

Cima RF, Maes IH, Joore MA, Scheyen DJ, Refaie A, Baguley DM, et al. Specialised treatment based on cognitive behaviour therapy versus usual care for tinnitus: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2012;379(9830):1951-9.

Swain SK, Pati BK, Mohanty JN. Otological manifestations in pregnant women-A study at a tertiary care hospital of eastern India. J Otol. 2020;15(3):103-6.

Heeren A, Maurage P, Perrot H, Volder A, Renier L, Araneda R, Lacroix E, et al. Tinnitus specifically alters the top-down executive control sub-component of attention: evidence from the Attention Network Task. Behav Brain Res. 2014;269:147-54.

Hoare DJ, Hall DA. Clinical guidelines and practice: a commentary on the complexity of tinnitus management. Eval Health Prof. 2011;34(4):413-20.






Review Articles