Document Type

Poster Session

Publication Date


Research Advisor(s)

Dr. Rocco Rotello; Dr. Aleda Chen


Tinnitus, ringing in the ears, artificial sweeteners




Tinnitus, a condition whose remarkable symptom is ringing in the ear (RIE), is a problem plaguing people all around the world in varying degrees of severity, though it is most common and severe in older populations. Literature is lacking on its etiology. Therefore, it is difficult to diagnose and treat. Several possible components could play a role in the development of tinnitus including neurological, physiological, traumatic, dietary and vascular factors. No factor has yet been definitively linked to the development of tinnitus. Vascular health can be significantly impacted by diet- especially in regard to sugars. As artificial sweeteners are used widely in the American diet, they may play a significant role in vascular health.


This project aims to investigate a possible connection between artificial sugars’ impact on vascular health and complaints of RIE among age groups through a patient survey and laboratory experiments.


A survey assessing individuals’ demographic information, subjective severity of RIE and reported artificial sweetener consumption will be distributed to audiologists’ offices in major Ohio cities, via Qualtrics, where patients will complete them. Data collected will be analyzed for interrelationships among sugar intake, age and severity of RIE. In the laboratory, an ELISA assay will evaluate the effects of artificial sweeteners on endothelial cells- the same cells that comprise blood vessels- through quantifying stimulation of the Tie-2 survival and angiogenesis pathway via the cellular messenger pAKT.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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