The absence of sufficient evidence for the use of integrated sound generators for the management of tinnitus led the authors to conduct a randomised blind clinical trial in which they compared the use of a conventional hearing aid with a hearing device that contained an integrated sound generator. The study included 49 novice patients with mild to moderate bilateral symmetrical sensorineural hearing loss, at least six months of tinnitus and a Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) > 20. The sound generator setting was started at the minimum setting and increased until the patient reported relief from their tinnitus. The minimum recommended treatment was use of the device for at least eight hours per day and the evaluation was conducted at three months. Both groups received counselling. The evaluator was blinded to the device provided. Measures included psychoacoustic measures of tinnitus, numeric scale and the THI. In total 47 patients completed the study. Both groups showed an improvement in symptoms when comparing the pre- and post-intervention scores. Of patients in the combined fitting group 62.5% had a reduction of 20 points or more in the THI. In the amplification group this rose to 78%. However, there was no statistical significance between outcomes for the two groups and levels of discomfort reduced for both from moderate to mild. Therefore this small study does not provide evidence for superiority of the combined device and finds both devices to be equally effective.

The influence of sound generator associated with conventional amplification for tinnitus control: randomized blind clinical trial.
Santos G, Bento R, Medeiros I, et al.
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Ameera Abdelrahim

City Hospital Birmingham, UK.

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