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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 77  |  Page : 182--190

The impact of hyperacusis and hearing loss on tinnitus perception in German teachers


Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Psychological Institute, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Sandra P Meuer
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Psychological Institute, University of Mainz, Wallstr 3, Mainz - 55122
Germany
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.160682

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Recent research indicates that a notable number of teachers are concerned with conditions of auditory impairment such as tinnitus, hyperacusis, and hearing loss. Studies focussing on characteristics and interdependencies of single hearing disorders (HD) are rare. This explorative study examines tinnitus, hyperacusis, hearing loss, and all possible combinations (tinnitus + hyperacusis; tinnitus + hearing loss; hyperacusis + hearing loss; tinnitus, hyperacusis + hearing loss) in German teachers. The impact of single HD on perceived distress, depending on the number and kind of comorbid HD, was of special interest. Information was collected via online survey and includes self-reported data as well as data from the Mini-Tinnitus Questionnaire (Mini-TQ). Results show that most of the 1468 participants (45%) suffered from two HD in different combinations, and the fewest (25%) were afflicted with only one HD. Considering the seven HD groups, most teachers (30%) suffered from all three HD. Across all groups, tinnitus was present in 1096, hyperacusis in 988, and hearing loss in 937 teachers. Multiple intergroup comparisons revealed that self-rated tinnitus-related distress rose significantly with the increasing number of HD. No significant differences were found for distress ratings of hyperacusis between the four groups including hyperacusis and between the four groups with hearing loss. In the Mini-TQ, groups including hyperacusis scored considerably higher than those excluding hyperacusis. The frequent prevalence of HD in German teachers points to a need of better noise prevention in German schools as one priority of occupational safety.






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