Tinnitus is consciously hearing a sound that is not generated by any source outside the body and is experienced by about 1 in 10 adults. It is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying problem.
In almost all cases, tinnitus is a subjective noise, meaning that only the person who has tinnitus can hear it. The most common form of tinnitus is a high-pitched steady ringing.
It has been reported that tinnitus in some cases can lead to insomnia, difficulty with concentration, poor work or school performance, irritability, anxiety, and depression. But even if it doesn’t lead to these problems, it’s still an annoyance for patients.
In order to get a better understanding of how tinnitus affects the daily life of patients, an iPhone application called TinNotes has been developed to monitor patients during several weeks.
The TinNotes app will query participants in a study several times a day, asking questions about their location, who they’re with and how much their tinnitus is affecting them on that specific moment in time. At the same time it’s possible to have the app make an audio recording of the background noise at the location where the participant resides.
For future projects it could also be extended to include a full tinnitus matching procedure, allowing people to quantitatively report for the volume and frequency of the tinnitus they are experiencing.
Because of its generic design, the app will also be suited for different kinds of diary studies, including participation control for experimental designs.