Researchers in Taiwan recently found that patients with early-onset cataract are at an increased risk of developing tinnitus and should be further evaluated for early diagnosis and management if any signs of tinnitus occur.

This retrospective study followed 2,084 patients with early-onset cataract (aged 20 to 55 years) and 8,336 controls to estimate the better understand the incidence of tinnitus among this patient population.

The investigators reported that patients with early-onset cataract had a 1.53x increased risk of developing tinnitus than controls. They noted that the number of patients with vertigo, insomnia, anxiety and hearing loss was also significantly higher in the cataract group. After adjusting for age, sex and all listed comorbidities, they added that patients with increasing age, early-onset cataract, vertigo, insomnia and hearing loss had a significantly higher risk of tinnitus.

“Further studies should be conducted to verify whether the relationship is observed only in Asia or worldwide and to confirm the mechanisms involved,” the study authors concluded in their paper.

Hsieh YC, Chang CH, Tsai YY, et al. Increased risk of tinnitus in patients with early-onset cataracts: a nationwide population-based case-control study. BMC Ophthalmol. June 16, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].