Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Non-depressed Essential Tremor Cases and Controls: A Clinical and Audiometric Study

  • Nesrin Helvaci Yilmaz
  • Muhittin Cenk Akbostanci
  • Nurhan Yilmaz

Abstract

Background: Patients with essential tremor (ET) have an increased prevalence of hearing loss, and depression is a confounding issue for both conditions. We assessed hearing loss in non‐depressed ET patients and controls using a questionnaire and audiometric tests.

Methods: The study included 34 patients with ET and 45 volunteers were included. Both groups were asked if they had hearing loss, and pure tone audiometry, speech recognition threshold, tympanogram, short increment sensitivity index (SISI), tone decay, and otoacoustic emission audiological tests were conducted.

Results: Seventeen subjects (50.0%) in the patient group answered “yes” to the question “Do you have hearing loss?” compared to one (2.2%) subject in the control group (p<0.001). The tone decay values of the right ear at 4,000 Hz were higher in the patient group. The number of subjects in which the otoacoustic emissions could not be obtained in the right ear was higher in the ET patients (p = 0.005).

Discussion: The results support the presence of a cochlear pathology in ET and may indicate that ET and sensorineural hearing loss may be components of a common disease process.