Tinnitus is a chronic and debilitating condition and approximately 10% of the population is afflicted. A myriad of pharmacological treatments for tinnitus are available but only a few controlled studies have shown positive results. The relationship between proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and tinnitus is contradictory. The difficulty of a strict follow-up, due to the variable pattern of presentation of tinnitus symptoms, and the different methods of PPI application have made it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. In order to investigate the effect of PPI on tinnitus sufferers, a cohort of 120 consecutive patients aged 50-69 years were recruited in this study. Subjects were subdivided into two groups: PPI users and non-users. Each patient was instructed to complete an anonymous validated questionnaire on hearing problems. The results showed that in the age class 60-69 years, there was a significantly lower prevalence of generic tinnitus symptoms in patients on PPI maintenance therapy compared to those who did not take these drugs. The mechanism of action of PPIs in the relief of tinnitus is still unclear. Current research indicates a direct regulatory effect on inner ear homoeostasis through an action of PPIs on gastric-type proton pumps in the inner ear. The authors suggest that further longitudinal studies are required before claims can be made as to the beneficial effect of PPIs on tinnitus.

Tinnitus in patients on therapy with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and in PPI non–users. Piroda A, Raimondi MA, Cicero AFG, et al.
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Claudia Nogueira

Nottingham, UK.

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