A Series of Case Studies of Tinnitus Suppression With Mixed Background Stimuli in a Cochlear Implant Purpose Background sounds provided by a wearable sound playback device were mixed with the acoustical input picked up by a cochlear implant speech processor in an attempt to suppress tinnitus. Method First, patients were allowed to listen to several sounds and to select up to 4 sounds that ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 2015
A Series of Case Studies of Tinnitus Suppression With Mixed Background Stimuli in a Cochlear Implant
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard S. Tyler
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • A. J. Keiner
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Kurt Walker
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Aniruddha K. Deshpande
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Shelley Witt
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Matthijs Killian
    Cochlear Technology Center, Mechelen, Belgium
  • Helena Ji
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Jim Patrick
    Cochlear Limited, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Norbert Dillier
    University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Pim van Dijk
    University Medical Center, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Wai Kong Lai
    University Hospital, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Marlan R. Hansen
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Bruce Gantz
    The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Richard S. Tyler: rich-tyler@uiowa.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 2015
A Series of Case Studies of Tinnitus Suppression With Mixed Background Stimuli in a Cochlear Implant
American Journal of Audiology, September 2015, Vol. 24, 398-410. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0005
History: Received January 9, 2015 , Revised April 14, 2015 , Accepted May 17, 2015
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2015, Vol. 24, 398-410. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0005
History: Received January 9, 2015; Revised April 14, 2015; Accepted May 17, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose Background sounds provided by a wearable sound playback device were mixed with the acoustical input picked up by a cochlear implant speech processor in an attempt to suppress tinnitus.

Method First, patients were allowed to listen to several sounds and to select up to 4 sounds that they thought might be effective. These stimuli were programmed to loop continuously in the wearable playback device. Second, subjects were instructed to use 1 background sound each day on the wearable device, and they sequenced the selected background sounds during a 28-day trial. Patients were instructed to go to a website at the end of each day and rate the loudness and annoyance of the tinnitus as well as the acceptability of the background sound. Patients completed the Tinnitus Primary Function Questionnaire (Tyler, Stocking, Secor, & Slattery, 2014) at the beginning of the trial.

Results Results indicated that background sounds were very effective at suppressing tinnitus. There was considerable variability in sounds preferred by the subjects.

Conclusion The study shows that a background sound mixed with the microphone input can be effective for suppressing tinnitus during daily use of the sound processor in selected cochlear implant users.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health Grant NIH-P50-DC000242-27, awarded to Bruce Gantz, Marlan R. Hansen, and Richard S. Tyler. We thank Action on Hearing Loss, the Tinnitus Research Initiative, and Cochlear Limited for their generous support.
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