The Effect of Natural Ocean Sound Exposure and Ocean-Side Relaxation on Chronic Tinnitus Patients: A Pilot Study in Korea

Kang Hyeon Lim, Kuk Jin Nam, Yoon Chan Rah, Jaehyung Cha, Sung Jae Lee, Min Goo Lee, June Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sound therapy is a treatment modality for tinnitus patients by increasing the background neuronal activity in the auditory system and inducing relative alleviation of the tinnitus. This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of natural ocean sound exposure and ocean-side relaxation in chronic tinnitus patients. We prospectively enrolled all 18 chronic tinnitus patients (≥6 months) from July to November 2018. All patients completed 90 hours of our programs. The improvement in their subjective tinnitus severity, moods, the quality of life, and sleep was serially assessed using several questionnaires at baseline, immediately, and 1 month after the program. Changes in serum stress hormone levels of the patients were also compared between the baseline and immediately after the program. Average total Tinnitus Handicap Questionnaire score and factor 2 (hearing difficulty related to tinnitus) score significantly improved over time (P =.024 and P =.002). Patient’s serum cortisol and epinephrine level did not show significant decrease, and serum norepinephrine and serotonin level significantly increased immediately after our program (P <.001 and P <.001). Natural ocean sound exposure and ocean-side relaxation for short-term period has a potential efficacy on chronic tinnitus patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019 Jan 1



  • ocean sound
  • relaxation
  • sound therapy
  • tinnitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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