A million people suffer from tinnitus -- in province of Quebec alone

October 27, 2008

Université de Montréal Professor Sylvie Hébert is conducting a study exploring the root causes of tinnitus, a condition that creates the perception of sound in the absence of external stimulation. Tinnitus affects 20 percent of Quebecers 55 and older in Quebec, which represents one million people.

"The auditory sensations sound like buzzing or whistling in one or both ears," says Professor Hébert of the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Medicine School of Speech Therapy and Audiology and researcher at both the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal and the BRAMS.

"It is pretty hard to study because only the suffering patient can describe the intensity. In addition, tinnitus isn't observable with current clinical tools," says Hébert, noting the job may be difficult but not impossible and she has devised a two-part study.

The first part subjected more than 20 subjects to a variety of auditory perception tasks in order to measure the neural correlates of tinnitus using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The second part explored the physiological pathway. The objective is to study the correlation between stress and tinnitus and demonstrate the role of endocrinal processes in normal and abnormal auditory perception.

"Tinnitus can emerge after an ear infection, such as a poorly treated ear inflammation (otitis), sound trauma such as a gun shot or loud concert speakers, or hearing deterioration from aging known as presbycusis," says Hébert. "In certain cases, tinnitus could result from a disorder of the auditory nerve fibers, which would send auditory information to the central nervous system in the absence of prior stimulation."

Currently, no medication exists. However, according to Hébert, classic hearing aids that increase external sounds can help. Also, auditory prosthesis that create a sound comparable to a waterfall can help mask the buzzing and whistling of tinnitus.
-end-
On the Web:

About the Université de Montréal: www.umontreal.ca/english/index.htm
School of Speech Therapy and Audiology: www.eoa.umontreal.ca.
About the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal: www.criugm.qc.ca/a_centre.html
About the BRAMS: www.brams.org

Media contact:

Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
International press attaché
Université de Montréal
Telephone: 514-343-7593
Email: sylvain-jacques.desjardins@umontreal.ca

University of Montreal

Related Tinnitus Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 is making tinnitus worse -- new study
New research reveals that tinnitus, a common condition that causes the perception of noise in the ear and head, is being exacerbated by COVID-19.

New research could help millions who suffer from 'ringing in the ears'
In the largest clinical trial of its kind, researchers show that combining sound and electrical stimulation of the tongue can significantly reduce tinnitus, commonly described as 'ringing in the ears.' They also found that therapeutic effects can be sustained for up to 12 months post-treatment.

First reported UK case of sudden permanent hearing loss linked to COVID-19
Although uncommon, sudden permanent hearing loss seems to be linked to COVID-19 infection in some people, warn doctors, reporting the first UK case in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Sensory device stimulates ears and tongue to treat tinnitus in large trial
A device that stimulates the ears and tongue substantially reduced the severity of tinnitus symptoms in 326 patients for as long as 1 year, while achieving high patient satisfaction and adherence.

Opioid use can trigger deafness
Opioid use, particularly in high doses, can cause deafness, according to Rutgers researchers.

Musicians at serious risk of tinnitus, researchers show
People working in the music industry are nearly twice as likely to develop tinnitus as people working in quieter occupations, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Manchester.

Deep brain stimulation for refractory severe tinnitus
Researchers investigated the safety and efficacy of deep brain stimulation in the treatment of refractory severe tinnitus in a small group of patients.

Parents' mental illness increases suicide risk in adults with tinnitus, hyperacusis
A study is the first to examine the relationship between parental mental illness like anxiety and depression in childhood and the risk of suicide and self-harm in adults who suffer from tinnitus, noise or ringing in the ears, and hyperacusis, extreme sensitivity to noise.

Reducing brain inflammation could treat tinnitus and other hearing loss-related disorders
Inflammation in a sound-processing region of the brain mediates ringing in the ears in mice that have noise-induced hearing loss, according to a study publishing June 18, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Shaowen Bao of the University of Arizona, and colleagues.

Severe tinnitus associated with suicide attempts in women
Previously, severe ringing in the ears (tinnitus) has been associated with depression and anxiety, and a 2016 study reported an association with increased risk of suicide attempts.

Read More: Tinnitus News and Tinnitus Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.