OBJECTIVE: To compare the long-term outcomes of acute noise-induced tinnitus (ANT) and acute idiopathic tinnitus (AIT) to intratympanic dexamethasone (ITD) therapy.
MATERIALS and METHODS: Patients treated for tinnitus occurring immediately after noise exposure comprised the ANT group (n=20) and patients treated for idiopathic tinnitus comprised the AIT group (n=39). All patients were treated with ITD within 3 months of the onset of tinnitus. Quantitative assessment of the improvement in tinnitus using questionnaires and changes in hearing thresholds were compared between the two groups.
RESULTS: Mean follow-up durations were 75.90±69.83 weeks in the ANT group and 93.41±101.43 weeks in the AIT group. Patients with ANT were younger in age than those with AIT (38.30±18.28 vs. 53.56±14.08, p=0.00) and were predominately male (Male: Female, M:F 13:7 vs. 13:26, p=0.02, respectively). The subjective tinnitus loudness, time of tinnitus awareness, and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory score improved in both groups, although the changes in these parameters were not significantly different between the groups. The cure and overall improvement rates of the ANT group were and 10.00% and 25.00%, respectively. The cure and overall improvement rates of the AIT groups were 25.64% and 35.90%, respectively and there were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of the cure and overall improvement rates (p=0.19 and 0.40, respectively).
CONCLUSION: The long-term outcome in terms of control of tinnitus with ITD in the ANT group was similar to that in the AIT group. Thus, ITD injection may be a useful treatment option for acute tinnitus caused by noise trauma.