In order to estimate the clinical values of the loudness balance test by pure tone audiometer as the objective method for evaluating tinnitus and to find out how we can use this method in the future, the results of the loudness balance test in 168 cases who complained of unilateral tinnitus were analyzed and presented in this study. Furthermore, in order to differentiate the tinnitus associated with endolymphatic hydrops and that of other causes, and to confirm the consistency and repeatability of the result of the loudness balance test by the pure tone audiometer, the loudness balance test was conducted before and after the oral administration of glycerol (glycerol loading tinnitus balance test). The test was performed in 44 confirmed cases of Meniere's disease and 10 of sensorineural hearing loss without fluctuation for a long duration. It was concluded that although by the loudness balance test with a pure tone audiometer the exact pitch of the tinnitus is not determined, much information about the tinnitus can be given. Also since there is no significant difference between the pitch of the tinnitus obtained by the pure tone audiometer and that by the Bekesy audiometer in most cases, and the loudness balance test by the pure tone audiometer is the easiest way to evaluate tinnitus clinically. This method has a meaningful and clinical value to evaluate the tinnitus objectively. After the glycerol administration several changes in the pitch and loudness of the tinnitus with or without changes of hearing were found in cases of Meniere's disease, but not in sensorineural hearing loss without fluctuation. The glycerol loading tinnitus balance test can be a good tool to differentiate the tinnitus associated with endolymphatic hydrops from that of the other causes, and therefore this test will be useful in the future as a new tinnitus test.
ASJC Scopus subject areas