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Journal Articles Trends in Hearing Year : 2018

A New Method for Assessing Masking and Residual Inhibition of Tinnitus

Abstract

Tinnitus masking and residual inhibition (RI) are two well-known psychoacoustic measures of tinnitus. While it has long been suggested that they may provide diagnostic and prognostic information, these measures are still rarely performed in clinics, as they are too time consuming. Given this issue, the main goal of the present study was to validate a new method for assessing these measures. An acoustic sequence made of pulsed stimuli, which included a fixed stimulus duration and interstimulus interval, was applied to 68 tinnitus patients at two testing sites. First, the minimum masking level (MML) was measured by raising the stimulus intensity until the tinnitus was unheard during the stimulus presentation. Second, the level of the stimulus was further increased until the tinnitus was suppressed during the silence interval between the acoustic pulses. This level was called the minimum residual inhibition level (MRIL). The sequential measurement of MML and MRIL from the same stimulus condition offers several advantages such as time efficiency and the ability to compare results between the MRIL and MML. Our study confirms that, from this new approach, MML and MRIL can be easily and quickly obtained from a wide variety of patients displaying either normal hearing or different hearing loss configurations. Indeed, MML was obtained in all patients except one (98.5%), and some level of MRIL was found on 59 patients (86.7%). More so, this approach allows the categor-ization of tinnitus patients into different subgroups based on the properties of their MRIL.
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hal-02139151 , version 1 (04-03-2020)

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Philippe Fournier, Anne-Flore Cuvillier, Stéphane Gallégo, Fabien Paolino, Michel Paolino, et al.. A New Method for Assessing Masking and Residual Inhibition of Tinnitus. Trends in Hearing, 2018, 22, pp.233121651876999. ⟨10.1177/2331216518769996⟩. ⟨hal-02139151⟩
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