gms | German Medical Science

79th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

30.04. - 04.05.2008, Bonn

Frequency specificity in case of subjective tinnitus

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German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 79th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Bonn, 30.04.-04.05.2008. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2008. Doc08hno58

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Published: July 8, 2008

© 2008 Marek et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Descriptions in the case of subjective tinnitus, however, overwhelmingly show a relatively limited frequency area of 1000 to 8000 Hz. We analyzed the statements of patients in the case of tinnitus in the human auditory response area.

Method: The data of 22 female and 31 male patients in the ENT department of the University of Bochum between the ages of 15 and 86 were reviewed. 21 of those examined described bi-lateral tinnitus. 5 patients reported more than one tinnitus on each side. The result was an analysis of 83 documented cases of tinnitus.

We examined whether there is a connection between the frequency of tinnitus and the corresponding audiogram showing between 125 and 8000 Hz. The data compiled by us was input into a modified diagram according to phonetic groups in the language area and in the representation of isophones [2], [5]. We then evaluated their distribution.

Results: In the human language area, there was a clear summation of statements as to tinnitus in the area of mid-range consonants and from 4000 Hz in the area of high consonants. In the isophone diagram was a systematic increase by one to two isophones when compared to the subjective audiogram threshold. This distribution pattern also appeared in examined patients with normal hearing.

Discussion: We consider these results to clearly indicate that tinnitus as a function of the auditory system is correlated with language perception and, here particularly, with the perception of high consonants. The intersection of frequency areas indicates possible restorative process in the auditory system which may involve tinnitus.

Conclusions: Further inquiries into the functional correlation between tinnitus and language are required.


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