Prevalence of Chronic Tinnitus: Chart

This figure shows age and sex-specific trends in chronic tinnitus, i.e., ringing, roaring, or buzzing in the ears or head that has lasted for 3 months or longer in the past year. 
This information was collected in household interviews conducted as part of the 1994–1995 Disability Supplement to the U.S. National Health Interview Survey; the data are self-reported and exclude proxy responses. 
The overall trend with age shows a marked increase for both sexes, beginning about age 40, peaking between 65 to 79 years, and then declining after 80 years of age.

Study on tinnitus shows it is in many parts of the brain.

In this study, the researchers contrasted brain activity during periods when tinnitus was relatively stronger and weaker. They found the expected tinnitus-linked brain activity, but they report that the unusual activity extended far beyond circumscribed auditory cortical regions to encompass almost all of the auditory cortex, along with other parts of the brain.

The discovery adds to the understanding of tinnitus and helps to explain why treatment has proven to be such a challenge, the researchers say.

“The sheer amount of the brain across which the tinnitus network is present suggests that tinnitus may not simply ‘fill in the gap’ left by hearing damage, but also actively infiltrates beyond this into wider brain systems,” Phillip Gander adds.

Phillip Gander, postdoctoral research scholar in the University of Iowa Department of Neurosurgery.

SOURCE: In search of tinnitus, that phantom ringing in the ears


TINNITUS and SJOGREN'S
Sensorineural hearing loss as the first manifestation of Sjögren's syndrome. 

Dysfunction of inner ear, vestibulocochlear nerve or central brain processing centers leads to sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). 

Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) is a rare but potentially treatable cause of hearing loss, characterized by progressive evolution over weeks to months.

AIED is a diagnosis of exclusion, supported by clinical suspicion and responsiveness to corticosteroids.

It is secondary to an autoimmune disease in one third of the cases.

Neurologic Complications Associated with Sjögren’s Disease: Case Reports 

Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) may be complicated by some neurological manifestations, generally sensory polyneuropathy. 
Furthermore, involvement of cranial nerves was described as rare complications of SS.
Tinnitus (VIII Cranial Nerve) 
An exhaustive revision of the literature was done by including all case reports and case series of SS patients with cervical-cranial neuritis present in the PubMed database prior to 2014.

Neuropathy of the cochlear nerve is rarely reported in the literature.

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Conditions that have been linked to tinnitus include the onset of a sinus infection, autoimmune disorders such as Sjogren's,  Vestibular Disorders such as Ménière's Disease,Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and Otosclerosis, high blood pressure, some medications,
hormonal changes, diabetes, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, allergies, depletion of cerebrospinal fluid, vitamin deficiency, and exposure to lead. 

Alcohol or caffeine or salt can aggravate tinnitus in some people.

Audiovestibular Symptoms in Systemic Autoimmune Diseases

Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by xerostomia and xerophthalmia due to lymphocyte infiltration of both salivary and lacrimal glands. 

It may also occur as a systemic disease involving the kidneys, lungs, liver, vessels, and lymph nodes. pSS mainly affects women in the fourth-fifth decade of life, and presenting symptoms are often oral and ocular. In this context, autoantibodies to cardiolipin and M3 muscarinic receptors (mAchRs) in the serum of pSS patients are suspected to play a pathogenic role in the onset of progressive hearing loss and neurological complications.

Audiovestibular involvement in patients with pSS has been reported in the literature with a prevalence ranging from 22% to 46%. reported in a pSS patient the presence of SNHL affecting preferentially high frequencies. Tumiati et al. [106] reported SNHL in 46% (14/30) of patients with pSS. Ziavra et al. [107] diagnosed SNHL in 22.5% (9/40) of pSS patients. Hearing loss as presenting complaint in pSS is quite uncommon and only limited to case reports [22]; SSNHL was recently reported in a 62-year-old female treated with high-dose methylprednisolone (250 mg) infusion for 5 days with successful hearing restoration.

The high prevalence of cranial neuropathies is a known condition in pSS, mainly with trigeminal and facial nerve involvement.

Although pSS patients tend to have a higher prevalence of SNHL compared to the general population, no evidence of damage to the central auditory pathways was reported. 

However,the prevalence of audiovestibular symptoms in pSS might be underestimated, suggesting that their association with pSS was not previously made because it had not been actively sought.

  • Pain in one or both ears.
  • Dizziness or vertigo.
  • Ringing in the ears, called tinnitus.
  • Pressure or fullness in one or both ears.
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