Original Research

Perceptions of Tinnitus in a Group of Senior Citizens

Pamela M. Sourgen, Eleanor Ross
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 45, No 1 | a719 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v45i1.719 | © 2020 Pamela M. Sourgen, Eleanor Ross | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 April 2020 | Published: 31 December 1998

About the author(s)

Pamela M. Sourgen, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Eleanor Ross, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Full Text:



Although previous research has highlighted the debilitating effects of tinnitus on quality of life, most studies appear to have targeted the general population, with few researchers focusing specifically on elderly persons. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of tinnitus in a group of 20 senior citizens. A questionnaire based on existing research instruments developed by Stouffer and Tyler (1990) and Wilson et al. (1991) was used to elicit information regarding the auditory-perceptual characteristics of tinnitus, effects of tinnitus on lifestyle, perceived causes, factors aggravating or ameliorating tinnitus and coping strategies employed. Results supported findings from earlier research and indicated that tinnitus did indeed exert an impact on respondents' lives with 65% avoiding noisy situations, 65% having difficulty relaxing, and 55% struggling to follow conversations. Almost two-thirds, namely 70%, of respondents reported feelings of frustration, 60% and 55% mentioned feelings of tenseness and irritability respectively, while 50% experienced depression associated with the tinnitus. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the education of health care professionals, management of tinnitus patients in general, public and patient awareness campaigns, the establishment of Tinnitus Self Help Groups, and further research.


tinnitus; senior citizens; quality of life


Total abstract views: 1429
Total article views: 412


Crossref Citations

1. Risk Factors for Tinnitus in a Population of Older Adults: The Blue Mountains Hearing Study
Doungkamol Sindhusake, Maryanne Golding, Philip Newall, George Rubin, Kirsten Jakobsen, Paul Mitchell
Ear & Hearing  vol: 24  issue: 6  first page: 501  year: 2003  
doi: 10.1097/01.AUD.0000100204.08771.3D