Sustained reduction of tinnitus several years after sequential cochlear implantation

Int J Audiol. 2022 Apr;61(4):322-328. doi: 10.1080/14992027.2021.1939448. Epub 2021 Jul 18.


Objective: This study aimed to explore the short- and long-term effects of a second cochlear implant (CI-2) on the reduction of tinnitus annoyance and tinnitus handicap.

Design: In a combined retrospective and prospective cohort study, tinnitus annoyance was measured before receiving the CI-2 (Pre), more than two years after (Post1) and more than seven years after (Post2), using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), the Visual Analog Scale for the assessment of perceived tinnitus loudness (VAS-L) and annoyance (VAS-A), and a self-report questionnaire.

Study sample: Twenty sequentially bilaterally implanted adults with bothersome tinnitus.

Results: CI-2 implantation resulted in a statistically significant reduction of tinnitus handicap from severe at Pre to mild at Post1 (THI mean score reduced from 61.3 [SD = 19.4] to 29.3 [SD = 23.5]). The reduction in tinnitus annoyance was statistically significant from Pre to Post 2 (VAS-A reduced from 7.1 [SD = 1.5] to 3.4 [SD = 2.2]). The reduction in tinnitus loudness was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: The provision of a CI-2 for severely and profoundly hearing-impaired individuals with bothersome tinnitus is an effective method of providing long-term tinnitus relief.

Keywords: Tinnitus; cochlear implants; long-term effect; second implant.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cochlear Implantation* / methods
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tinnitus* / rehabilitation
  • Tinnitus* / therapy