Moderate variations of mood/emotional states related to alterations in cochlear otoacoustic emissions and tinnitus onset in young normal hearing subjects exposed to gun impulse noise

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This study was designed to test whether under impulse noise exposure mood and emotional states could play a role in the onset of tinnitus and/or could modify cochlear sensitivity objectively measured with distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). The experimental design consisted in a short follow-up study of 54 young military subjects (20±2 years old), psychologically normal, with normal hearing, during two consecutive days of target practice rounds. Data collection included an abbreviated version of the profile of mood states (POMSs) inventory [Profile of Mood States, Educational and Industrial Testing Service, San Diego, 1971], questionnaires on tinnitus perception (previous history and after shooting) and DPOAEs measurements before and after shooting. Higher scores of tension-anxiety were found in subjects having previous history of tinnitus. Association between tinnitus previous history and tinnitus after shooting was found significant. Perception of tinnitus after target practice rounds was associated with significantly lower DPOAEs at 3 kHz. The most tense-anxious subjects were found to have DPOAEs decreases of 3.35±6 dB at 3 kHz after shooting. This study clearly shows that, in young healthy population, psychologically normal and with normal hearing, moderate variations in mood and emotional states were related to tinnitus onset and DPOAEs alterations. It is possible that stronger variations in mood and/or emotional condition would increase risks of tinnitus and alterations of cochlear sensitivity.

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