Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Franks, John R. (John Robert)

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication Disorders




Ten normal hearing adults whose only medical complaint was tinnitus aurium served as subjects in an investigation of tinnitus characteristics. The purpose of the study was to determine if any intersubject similarities existed in the tinnitus of normal hearing people. A complete audiometric evaluation, including site of lesion testing, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a narrative tinnitus case history, and a tinnitus measurement protocol were administered. Hearing aids and a tinnitus masker were evaluated as remediation techniques. Some similarities between subjects were found. The frequency of the tinnitus was above 4000 Hz, and the average loudness levels was approximately 15 dB sensation level referenced to the pure-tone thresholds. The tinnitus could be masked by a tinnitus masker and/or hearing aid. All 10 subjects preferred to listen to their tinnitus even though they did receive complete relief from both of the instruments. All of these subjects had normal psychological profiles as indicated by the MMPI. Multiple correlations were performed using the data from the tinnitus measurement evaluation and the subjects tinnitus severity rating (on a seven point scale). The results indicated that the severity of the tinnitus could be related to its loudness in phons and to the amount of masking noise required from a high band pass masker (HBPM). In addition, the HBPM was shown to be a more efficient masker than the low band pass masker. The tinnitus apparently cannot be masked in the same fashion as an externally produced signal.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


vii, 90 pages




Northern Illinois University

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