The relationship between tinnitus and cochlear implantation is an important issue that needs to be established because it may affect implant use. In this study 99 patients over 15 years of age completed pre-and post-cochlear implantation questionnaires, and underwent performance testing. The findings show that after implantation, there was marked suppression of tinnitus in both implanted and contralateral ears whilst the implant was off, and this was further enhanced when the implant was switched on. These effects are probably a combination of local and central factors. Presence of tinnitus, before or after implantation, had no detrimental effects on performance.
In conclusion, providing all other factors permit, this study recommends implanting the ear with the worst tinnitus.