Tinnitus is a ringing, roaring, hissing, whistling, buzzing, humming or another sound in the ear with no external sound source. Some people experience sudden, brief tinnitus symptoms in one ear that seem loud at first, but then taper off within minutes or seconds. This may happen when gardening in your yard or working out at Crunch Fitness in Athens. In most cases, there is no apparent trigger. This is known as Sudden, Brief, Unilateral, Tapering Tinnitus (SBUTT). Below we review what one study has to say about SBUTT.
About the Study
The study in question was conducted by researchers in the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery in The Edith Wolfson Medical Center at Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine in Holon, Israel; Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada; and Eaton Peabody Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Massachusetts, U.S.A.
The article, published in 2011, summarizes two studies.
Study I was not focused specifically on SBUTT, but rather on determining the effect of brief but intense jaw, neck and extremity muscle contracts on the auditory experience of participants sitting in a room playing low ambient noise. These participants were asked, “Do you ever have a brief ringing in one ear, lasting a minute or less?”
Study II was focused on participants who responded they had experienced SBUTT previously. This group was asked to keep a log of their symptoms over four months.
For Study I, somatic hearing tests were conducted on all participants, and 20% had existing tinnitus. Seventy-six percent recalled having at least one episode of SBUTT in their lives, and 24% had no recollection of experiencing SBUTT. Of the subjects with existing tinnitus, 75% had SBUTT, and of those with no ongoing tinnitus, 78% had SBUTT.
For Study II, 20% had existing tinnitus. Those with existing tinnitus had double the instances of SBUTT than those without existing tinnitus over a four-month period.
The study shows that most of those who had chronic tinnitus had more instances of SBUTT, suggesting a high rate of SBUTT may be a risk factor for chronic tinnitus. If you’re experiencing tinnitus, schedule an appointment for an evaluation with an expert at ENT of Athens today.