The effects of tinnitus on memory and attention. Version 2
Exploring the consequences of tinnitus on working memory and attention
Research and Innovations
Tinnitus is the medical name for the perception of noise in one ear, both ears or the head. The noise comes from inside the body rather than an outside source. People often describe their tinnitus as a ringing, beeping, roaring, whistling or buzzing sound. For some people it comes and goes, while for others it is there all the time. The severity of the tinnitus varies from person to person. Some people are very good at ignoring the sound, while others find it extremely distressing. In the UK, about one in ten people experience tinnitus and one in 200 people are severely affected by it. Current NHS treatments lack systematic supporting evidence for what are the most appropriate therapeutic target and the best interventions for tinnitus.
Tinnitus can have a wide range of effects. It can affect concentration and cause sleeping problems and depression. This has led some clinicians to believe that tinnitus interferes with how people process everyday information.
A small number of research studies have investigated a link between tinnitus, memory and attention. These studies generally show that tinnitus does affect the way that people process information but the methods that were used did not rule out other factors, which could affect performance on the tests of attention and memory used.
The proposed study is for people who have ever experienced tinnitus. This study will measure the impact of tinnitus on attention and memory. We will also look at other factors which might be important to explain our findings, such as hearing loss, general intelligence or a person’s mood.
This study may inform future tinnitus management strategies.
East Midlands - Derby Research Ethics Committee
Date of REC Opinion
18 Jun 2013
Further Information Favourable Opinion