The Impact of Gender, Age and Hearing Loss on Tinnitus Severity

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. Jan-Feb 2010;76(1):18-24.


Tinnitus is a symptom present in approximately 15% of the world population. Most patients are between 40 and 80 years of age; the prevalence above 60 reaches 33%. About 20% have moderate to severe impact in the quality of life but the factors associated with the tinnitus annoyance are not completely known.

Aim: The objective of this study is to evaluate the relationship between age, gender and hearing loss on tinnitus annoyance.

Materials and methods: 68 patients were evaluated at the tinnitus center at our hospital, from March 2007 to march 2008, with a detailed interview, complete otolaryngological examination, the Portuguese version of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and pure tone audiometry.

Results: Age varied from 24 to 83 (mean=59); the mean THI value was 39 (females: 36; males: 44). THI grades were: slight: 32.3%; mild: 19.1%; moderate: 20.6%; severe: 13.2% and catastrophic: 14.7%. No significant correlation was found between gender (p=0.30), age (p=0.77) hearing loss (p>0.05 for all averages analyzed) and tinnitus severity.

Conclusion: Gender, age and hearing loss do not influence tinnitus annoyance, using the THI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Tinnitus / complications*
  • Tinnitus / psychology
  • Young Adult