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Prevalence and causes of tinnitus in adolescents from middle/high socioeconomic status

Grant number: 11/18797-7
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: July 01, 2012 - June 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Medical Clinics
Principal Investigator:Tanit Ganz Sanchez
Grantee:Tanit Ganz Sanchez
Host Institution: Associação de Pesquisa Interdisciplinar e Divulgação do Zumbido (APIDIZ). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Habits of modern life induced an earlier exposure to leisure noise, anticipating cumulative and irreversible auditory lesions. Young people exposed to noise demonstrate that they perceive tinnitus before noticing any change in hearing, so tinnitus is a warning symptom for an early diagnosis and possible avoidance of further hearing problems. Our previous research with 506 children aged 5 to 12 years showed that 37.7% had tinnitus (19% annoyed). These alarming data motivated this research in adolescents, considering the diverse noisy situations of leisure which are appreciated by this age group. As: 1) teenagers of today are likely to be adults with more hearing problems and inability to work; 2) the Brazilian scientific literature is mainly directed to problems induced by occupational noise; 3) we have the challenge of making early diagnoses of initial problems, it would be appreciated to evaluate adolescents through exams that would be more sensitive than the conventional audiometry. Objectives: 1) to estimate the prevalence of tinnitus in adolescents and to establish subgroups of patients according to the most likely cause; 2) to estimate the prevalence of minimal alterations in high frequency audiometry and otoacoustic emissions. Methods: 350 adolescents will undergo specific anamnesis, otoscopy, pure tone audiometry (0.25 to 16kHz), Loudness Discomfort Levels and Otoacoustic Emissions. The students with tinnitus will be additionally submitted to validated questionnaire, visual scale for intensity/annoyance with tinnitus, loudness/pitch matching and minimum masking level. This research can favorably impact professionals, Government and our children. (AU)

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