Current studies - Newcastle Tinnitus Research

Newcastle Tinnitus Research
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Acute Tinnitus

Developing tinnitus can be a frightening experience, and leave you with a lot of questions and uncertainty. Dr William Sedley is running a research study to better understand new onset tinnitus, how it occurs, what goes on to happen next, and what should be done about it. This information will be really important for helping millions of people who find themselves in the same position of newly developing tinnitus. Taking part in the study also involves the opportunity to discuss your tinnitus with Dr Sedley and to ask any questions you have about the condition.

See below for further details, or contact Dr Sedley directly at

It is known that the majority of people experience tinnitus transiently at least once in their lives, and it is also known that around one in seven adults experiences persistent or permanent tinnitus. However, we know very little about acute tinnitus (i.e. tinnitus that has been going on only a few days or weeks). Clearly, a proportion of cases will resolve by themselves, and others will persist into longer term tinnitus.

This study aims to learn the following about acute tinnitus:
- What proportion of cases will persist as long-term tinnitus
- What changes happen in the brain around the time tinnitus develops
- Is there any way to predict which cases of tinnitus will go on to persist (e.g. particular patterns of brain activity, or responses on questionnaires)

To help to work out the answers to these important questions, we are recruiting people who have recently developed tinnitus within the past 3 weeks to take part in a research study.

Please see the following documents for further information, or e-mail

Control volunteers, with mild hearing loss but no tinnitus, needed

Do you have mild to moderate hearing loss? If so, we would love to try and include you in a research study, based in Newcastle University Medical School, to better understand tinnitus (ringing in the ears). We have already studied a group of people with tinnitus and a degree of hearing loss, and now need controls with the same amount of hearing loss but no tinnitus.

You can also help by telling your friends and family with hearing loss about the study.

If you haven’t had an audiogram (hearing test), then still you may be suitable for the study if you find yourself needing to ask people to repeat things, turning the television up louder, or struggling to hear people in noisy environments when other people seem to be hearing ok. These symptoms do not need to be particularly bad, but just noticeable.

If you have had an audiogram, then what we are looking for is mainly mild to moderate hearing loss in the high frequency range. This is a common pattern that can occur naturally from middle age onwards. We are also looking for other patterns, including noise induced hearing loss.

The main experiment itself takes a 2-3 hours in total, and involves a short questionnaire, some brief sound-based tests on a computer, and an electroencephalogram (EEG) during which your brainwaves are measured using electrical sensors on your scalp.

If you are interested in taking part, the first stage is to come in to the study centre to have a hearing test, which should take less than 30 minutes for the entire visit. If you prove to be a good match to one of our volunteers with tinnitus then you will be invited back to take part in the full experiment if you wish.

Any time you come to the study centre, you will be reimbursed for any reasonable travel expenses. You will also a small reimbursement for your time, which is £5 for the hearing test, and £25 for the full study.

If you would like more information, or are interested in taking part, please e-mail Dr William Sedley on
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