Exactly how speech perception and tinnitus perception are related remains unclear. This study investigated how tinnitus alone affects speech perception and the relationship between speech perception, tinnitus loudness, and tinnitus disability. The Mandarin Speech Perception in Noise Test (MSPIN), Tinnitus Loudness Scaling (TLS), and Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) were utilized to assess 20 tinnitus patients with normal hearing. The tinnitus group had a significantly lower MSPIN score than the control group (p < 0.01). TLS and THI scores were strongly correlated (r2: 0.534∼0.627, p < 0.05). Correlations between MSPIN and TLS or THI scores were not significant. Tinnitus loudness correlated well with tinnitus-related disability. Neither tinnitus loudness nor disability was strongly correlated with speech perception. In noisy environments, tinnitus sufferers had significantly poorer ability to recognize speech than control subjects.
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