Background Tinnitus occurs with or without prior noise exposure (noise-induced tinnitus (NIT) and spontaneous tinnitus (ST)), and is considered a symptom related to permanent hearing impairment (HI) or temporary hearing threshold shift (TTS).
Objective To carry out a cross-sectional interview study on TTS, ST and NIT during a standard audiometric screening of 756 7-year-old children in Gothenburg.
Results 41% out of 756 children reported either NIT or ST on several occasions, 17% reported recurrent TTS and 7% failed the audiometry screening. The probability of ST was 27% for children with no HI or TTS (OR=1.23 (95% CI 1.12 to 1.34)) but 63% (OR=1.16 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.33)) if exhibiting both HI and TTS.
Conclusion This study confirms an increased occurrence of spontaneous tinnitus in children with TTS or HI and in children with both TTS and HI, in particular, but also in children with normal hearing. Possibly, tinnitus in young children correlates with stress as in adolescents and adults.
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Funding This study was supported by Swedish Research Council funding for clinical research in medicine, nr ALFGBG-2766 and the funds were used for reimbursing the audiologist for the extra time spent performing the interviews, in addition to carrying out screening within a national programme.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the ethical committee in Gothenburg (reference number 125-04) and performed according to the Helsinki declaration.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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