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Re: New Scientist Question

Tinnitus can be caused by middle ear disorders such as a bit of fluid in the
middle ear space.  Another issue is that during a yawn the temporomandibular
joint changes its relation to the auditory canal and the pressure change on the
nerves as well as literal pressure changes in the middle ear space can cause
tinnitus changes.  In fact, one of the first things I do with a client is
determine if tinnitus can be changed by chewing, swallowing, opening or closing
one's mouth, biting, turning the head, etc.  When this is found to be the case
there is more of a chance of remediation of the tinnitus.


Tom Brennan, CCC-A/SLP, RHD
web page http://titan.sfasu.edu/~g_brennantg/sonicpage.html
web master http://titan.sfasu.edu/~f_freemanfj/speechscience.html
web master http://titan.sfasu.edu/~f_freemanfj/fluency.html

On Wed, 21 Nov 2001, [X-UNKNOWN] Tóth László wrote:

> Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 20:34:30 +0100
> From: "[X-UNKNOWN] Tóth László" <tothl@INF.U-SZEGED.HU>
> Subject: Re: New Scientist Question
> On Wed, 21 Nov 2001, Thomas G Brennan wrote:
> > Greg, when the eustacian tubes open, the middle ear space effectively becomes a
> > part of the auditory mechanism thus enlarging that mechanism by quite some bit.
> > When one yawns there is an effect a bit like sticking one's head in a barrel
> > which is caused by the tube opening and this is what primarily causes the
> > perceived effect to the music.
> >
> Now, I would like to add a little twist here:
> A couple of weeks ago I had a nice little ringing tinnitus in my right
> ear. (Luckily it went away after a week, just when I started to get
> worried about going crazy).
> So, I observed that the loudness of my "built-in-sine-wave" increased when
> yawning (no change in pitch, however). My physician said the the cause
> of tinnitus is usually some inner ear or auditory nerve injury. If so,
> how could the loudness be altered by a middle-ear "operation" (yawning)?
> Or maybe yawning made all the other background sounds softer and thus
> tinnitus seemed to get louder?
>                Laszlo Toth
>         Hungarian Academy of Sciences         *
>   Research Group on Artificial Intelligence   *   "Failure only begins
>      e-mail: tothl@inf.u-szeged.hu            *    when you stop trying"
>      http://www.inf.u-szeged.hu/~tothl        *