The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Unpleasantness of Amplified Environmental Sound Used in Tinnitus Sound Therapy: A Preliminary Study of Clinical Assessment


Graduate School of Engineering, Kagawa University, Takamatsu, Japan


School of Engineering and Design, Kagawa University, Takamatsu, Japan


Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, Kagawa University, Takamatsu, Japan

J Int Adv Otol 2019; 15: 94-98
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2019.6581
Read: 1167 Downloads: 547 Published: 03 September 2019



OBJECTIVES: In this study, our aim was to use environmental sounds amplified in the frequency region corresponding to the tinnitus frequency of individual patients and apply them as sound therapy in tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). In this pilot study, we 1) investigated the unpleasantness of processed environmental sounds using the amplification, attenuation, and removal in different frequency regions; 2) compared the unpleasantness of processed sounds for older and younger groups of participants; and 3) determined the amplification level appropriate for a clinical test.


MATERIALS and METHODS: We processed the sound of a river with three types of modification (amplified, attenuated, and notched) at a one-octave width of seven central frequencies, in the range 250-8000 Hz. Amplified and attenuated sounds were processed with five positive gains (+6, +12, +15.6, +18, and +20 dB) and two negative gains (-6 and -12 dB). Twenty-three older participants and 23 younger participants rated the unpleasantness of sounds using a visual analog scale.


RESULTS: We found that, in the older group, there was no difference in unpleasantness among the three modifications. Older participants rated the level of unpleasantness as lower than younger participants for processed sounds in the high-frequency region. There were no marked differences among the amplification levels in the group of older participants.


CONCLUSION: Based on the results, we decided that our clinical study would target older patients who had a tinnitus frequency over 4000 Hz and would compare the effect of an amplified sound with a 20 dB gain at the frequency corresponding to individual tinnitus with notched sound.


Cite this article as: Manabe Y, Sato K, Fukuda S, Miyashita T. Unpleasantness of Amplified Environmental Sound Used in Tinnitus Sound Therapy: A Preliminary Study of Clinical Assessment. J Int Adv Otol 2019; 15(1): 94-8.

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