Answers to questionnaires filled out by 436 patients who visited our tinnitus clinic were analyzed. Patients were asked to report the presence or absence of depression and to rate the loudness and severity of their tinnitus. Responses to questions about tinnitus loudness and severity from 121 patients who reported current depression were compared with responses from 285 patients who reported no history of depression. There was no significant difference in reported loudness of tinnitus between patients with and without depression. However, patients with current depression scored significantly higher than patients without depression on all 12 questions relating to tinnitus severity. We conclude that depression and tinnitus severity are linked in some patients. Treatment of depression with medications and psychotherapy is likely to reduce tinnitus severity for many of these patients.
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