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Hearing management

Updated 14 December 2017

Tinnitus not usually an inherited condition

Study of thousands of families finds no consistent genetic link for tinnitus.

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WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) isn't a highly inherited disorder, Norwegian researchers conclude.

While tinnitus has been reported to cluster in families, little is known about the role that genes play in the condition.

In the new study, researchers analyzed data gathered from almost 13,000 spouses, more than 27,600 parents and offspring, and close to 11,500 siblings. A subgroup of more than 28,000 people completed a second questionnaire designed to collect more information about tinnitus.

About 20.9 percent of the study participants reported definite or probable tinnitus symptoms. The researchers found no indication that tinnitus is passed down through families.

"Our results do not necessarily mean that genetic effects are unimportant for all forms of tinnitus, because this symptom can arise from a wide variety of underlying diseases," wrote Dr. Ellen Kvestad, of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, and Akershus University Hospital, and colleagues.

"Considering the [varied] origin of tinnitus, rather than searching for the genes responsible for tinnitus in general, future investigators need to identify subgroups of individuals affected by tinnitus with specific causes," the group wrote. "Our results do not support the spending of large amounts of time and resources to identify the genes that code for tinnitus in general."

The study appears in the February issue of the journal Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.


 

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Dr Kara Hoffman graduated from UCT in 2004, thereafter she completed her year of community service in Durban. In 2010 she completed her Masters Degree in Paediatric Aural Rehabilitation from UKZN. In 2016, she became a Doctor of Audiology through the University of Arizona (ATSU). Dr Hoffman and her partner Lauren Thompson opened a fully diagnostic audiology practice called Thompson & Hoffman Audiology Inc. In 2011 with world-class technology and equipment to be able to offer the broad public all hearing-related services including hearing testing for adults and babies, vestibular (balance) assessments and rehabilitation, industrial audiology, hearing devices, central auditory processing assessments for school-aged children, school screening, neonatal hearing screening programmes at Alberlito and Parklands Hospital, cochlear implants and other implantable devices, medicolegal assessments and advanced electroacoustic assessments of hearing. Thompson and Hoffman Audiology Inc. are based at Alberlito Hospital in Ballito, St Augustines Hospital in Durban and at 345 Essenwood Road, Musgrave. The practices are all wheelchair friendly. There are three audiologists that practice from Thompson & Hoffman – including Dr Kara Hoffman, Lauren Thompson & Minette Lister. The practice boasts professional, highly qualified, and extensive diagnostic services where all your hearing healthcare needs can be met. The additional licensing in vestibular assessment and rehabilitation, paediatric rehabilitation and cochlear implantation places this practice in one of the top specialist audiological positions in South Africa, with a wealth of experience in all clinical areas of audiology and is a very well respected and sought-after practice.

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