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Tinitus triggered by sound

Jeffrey Sirianni sirianni at uts.cc.utexas.edu
Mon Jul 24 01:25:43 EST 1995

In article <3ur21u$65q at insosf1.netins.net>, HearWHAC at netins.net (HearWHAC) says:
>In article <3uqtv0$g36 at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, jgsaudio at aol.com says...
>>There is, of course, distinct differences between "objective" and
>>"subjective" tinnitus.  Objective tinnitus implies that the sound causing
>>the tinnitus can also be heard by others.
>Jeff, I recall my father telling me about "objective" tinnitus many years 
>ago but I have never heard the term since. (He has been dead for more than 
>twenty years.) Have you ever observed it in a patient? What would cause the 
>"vascular anomalies" to be loud enough to be observed by another person? 
>Wouldn't that have to be pretty loud? Do you normally hold a stethoscope to 
>the ear? I can't help wonder how someone happened to come across this 
>phenomena. Of course, a logical question any person with tinnitus would ask 
>is, "Can you hear it too?"

There are 2 etiologies that I can think of, at this time, that can cause
objective tinnitus; they are vascular anomalies (bruits) and muscular anomalies
(myoclonis).  If an (concerned) ENT hears that a patient has a rythmic tinnitus
(ie. corresponds to one's heart beat), he/she should suspect a vascular origin
of the tinnitus.  I am not sure what tinnitus of myoclonic origin sounds like,
but (for those interested) it is a tinnitus that occurs due to muscular spasm
of the middle ear musculature.  I am guessing that it is a periodic attenuation
of sound that is rythmic.

Both of these types of objective tinnitus (I believe) can be specifically assessed
with the use of some sort of listening device.  In the past, physicians have reported
hearing the tinnitus with the use of a stethascope.  A new and improved method may
include the use of a microphone and equipment used to measure spontaneous otoscoustic
emissions.  An article by Champlin et al. (1991 or 92) in Hearing Research presented
a case which used such a set-up to locate the vascular origin pre-, intra-, and post-

Jeff Sirianni     @(((<{
University of Texas at Austin
Communication Sciences and Disorders
CMA, 2nd Floor Clinic
Austin, TX  78712-1089
sirianni at uts.cc.utexas.edu
jgsaudio at aol.com

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