Patients’ Perception of a Symptomatic Tinnitus among Nigerians: A multi-institutional study
Tinnitus is a very common otologic symptom presented by patients worldwide yet it’s a poorly understood disorder. This study is aimed at assessing the perception of patients of their tinnitus. A multi-center prospective study carried out in Ear, Nose and Throat Department of two tertiary health institutions in Nigeria over a period of 12 months using a semi-structured Modified Tinnitus Impairment Questionnaire (THI-12) from Greimel et al after an informed consent. Information collected is entered into SPSS statistical software version 16.0 and analysed descriptively and results presented in tables and figures.
All consecutive adult patients who presented for the first time at these clinics with complaints of tinnitus were included in the study.
A total of 168 patients with tinnitus consented to partake in the study comprising 38.2% males and 61.8% females with M: F ratio of 1:1.6. The age ranged from 18-80years, with a mean of 46.8 years. About 48.5% had tertiary education and 38.1% are self-employed, duration varied from 3 days to 25 years. The degree of discomfort experienced in the presence of tinnitus was said to be much in 16.2%, little in 63.2% while 17.7% experience no discomfort and no response in 2.9% patients. The degree of hearing loss varied with the severity of tinnitus however none had profound hearing loss.
Tinnitus is still a problem among the sufferers as 16.2% describes it as bothersome, the need for proper evaluation of all medical problems and the need for a community-based programme to assess the degree of disability of clinical tinnitus in the population will go a long way in defining its gravity.