Characteristics of tinnitus in childhood
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- Savastano, M. Eur J Pediatr (2007) 166: 797. doi:10.1007/s00431-006-0320-z
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Despite its incidence, there are still few reports in literature relating to tinnitus in children. Almost all data were collected by means of questionnaires or in a limited population of children. In order to collect data in a homogeneous way and directly from the patients, the protocol of study proposed by Savastano has been applied to 1,100 children. The results showed tinnitus as present in 374 children but only 6.5% of the cases complained spontaneously about it. In all, 76.4% of the children demonstrated normal hearing, whereas 64.5% reported being bothered by their tinnitus. Tinnitus measurements were obtained and are reproducible in all patients older than 8 years of age. The loudness level was <10 dB in 48.6% of cases, which was higher than 10 dB in 51.4%. As for the frequency distribution, in most cases it appears to be between 0 and 1,000 Hz. There is a correspondence between the loudness level and masking level. A total inhibition of <60 s for most children with lower loudness was obtained. The present study demonstrates that the application in the infancy of a specific protocol of study allows the presence of tinnitus to be discovered, giving specific and detailed information about it so as to minimize its damage to be obtained. Moreover, for the first time, data regarding the measurement of tinnitus in childhood has been gathered.