Comparison of Tinnitus Loudness Measures: Matching, Rating, and Scaling

Candice Manning, Leslie Grush, Emily Thielman, Larry Roberts, James Henry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose Chronic tinnitus ("ringing in the ears") is a phantom auditory perception with no cure. A goal of treatment is often to reduce the loudness of tinnitus. However, tinnitus loudness cannot be measured objectively. It is most commonly assessed by obtaining a loudness match (LM) with a pure tone and by using a numeric rating scale (NRS). Constrained loudness scaling (CLS) is a more recent measure of tinnitus loudness that utilizes auditory training of a fixed loudness scale to guide tinnitus loudness judgments. The purpose of this study was to compare results using these 3 measures of tinnitus loudness. Method This study obtained tinnitus loudness measures of LM, NRS, and CLS with 170 participants. These participants are part of a larger study obtaining repeated measures over 6 months. Only baseline data are presented. Results Correlations between all measures were weak to moderate: LM versus CLS ( r = .46), CLS versus NRS ( r = .49), and LM versus NRS ( r = .38). Conclusion Further systematic research is needed to more fully understand the relationships between these different measures and to establish a valid measure of tinnitus loudness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing

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