Changes in Heart Rate Variability Following Acoustic Therapy in Individuals With Tinnitus.

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Date: Apr. 2021
Publisher: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Document Type: Report
Length: 4,764 words
Lexile Measure: 1460L

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Abstract :

Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate changes in autonomic function, as measured by heart rate variability, in individuals with tinnitus following acoustic therapy implemented using tinnitus maskers presented via hearing aids. Method: Twenty-six individuals with tinnitus and hearing impairment completed an 8-week field trial wearing hearing aids providing acoustic therapy via three tinnitus masker options set just below minimum masking level. Tinnitus handicap was measured using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory at baseline (before starting acoustic therapy) and posttreatment (at end of 8-week trial). Resting heart rate and heart rate variability were measured using electrocardiography at baseline and posttreatment. Results: There was a significant decrease in tinnitus handicap posttreatment compared to baseline. There was no change in heart rate, but there was a significant increase in heart rate variability posttreatment compared to baseline. Conclusions: Acoustic therapy using tinnitus maskers delivered via hearing aids provided tinnitus relief and produced a concurrent increase in heart rate variability, suggesting a decrease in stress. Heart rate variability is a potential biomarker for tracking efficacy of acoustic therapy; however, further research is required.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A659950435