The spatial percept of tinnitus is associated with hearing asymmetry: Subgroup comparisons

Eleni Genitsaridi*, Theodore Kypraios, Niklas K. Edvall, Natalia Trpchevska, Barbara Canlon, Derek J. Hoare, Christopher R. Cederroth, Deborah A. Hall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Citations (Scopus)


The spatial percept of tinnitus is hypothesized as an important variable for tinnitus subtyping. Hearing asymmetry often associates with tinnitus laterality, but not always. One of the methodological limitations for cross-study comparisons is how the variables for hearing asymmetry and tinnitus spatial perception are defined. In this study, data from two independent datasets were combined (n = 833 adults, age ranging from 20 to 91 years, 404 males, 429 females) to investigate characteristics of subgroups with different tinnitus spatial perception focusing on hearing asymmetry. Three principle findings emerged. First, a hearing asymmetry variable emphasizing the maximum interaural difference most strongly discriminated unilateral from bilateral tinnitus. Merging lateralized bilateral tinnitus (perceived in both ears but worse in one side) with unilateral tinnitus weakened this relationship. Second, there was an association between unilateral tinnitus and ipsilateral asymmetric hearing. Third, unilateral and bilateral tinnitus were phenotypically distinct, with unilateral tinnitus being characterized by older age, asymmetric hearing, more often wearing one hearing aid, older age at tinnitus onset, shorter tinnitus duration, and higher percentage of time being annoyed by tinnitus. We recommend that careful consideration is given to the definitions of hearing asymmetry and tinnitus spatial perception in order to improve the comparability of findings across studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTinnitus - An Interdisciplinary Approach Towards Individualized Treatment
Subtitle of host publicationResults from the European Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780128223789
ISBN (Print)9780128223772
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2021

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123
ISSN (Electronic)1875-7855


  • Bilateral
  • Classification
  • Hearing loss
  • Laterality
  • Lateralization
  • Localization
  • Symmetric
  • Tinnitus
  • Unilateral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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