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Re: AUDITORY Digest - 1 Aug 2002 to 4 Aug 2002 (#2002-120)

The engineer, and everyone else, should read a very famous paper by
Wegel (of bell labs fame), that deals exactly with these issues. Wegel
published the first hearing thresholds with Harvey Fletcher, and worked
for T. A. Edison, it is said.

,author={Wegel, R.L.}
,title={Study of tinnitus}
,journal="Archives Otolaryngology"
,pages={158-165} }

Jont Allen

Automatic digest processor wrote:

There are 2 messages totalling 76 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

 1. Objective tinnitus due to high-level SOAE (2)


Date:    Sun, 4 Aug 2002 12:27:26 +0200
From:    Martin Braun <nombraun@POST.NETLINK.SE>
Subject: Objective tinnitus due to high-level SOAE

A question on otoacoustic emissions and tinnitus:

A 31-year-old electrical engineer wrote to me and asked for help. One year
ago he had a sudden hearing loss in his right ear. Hearing was back to
normal after four weeks, but during this recovery period he had developed a
strong tonal tinnitus in this ear. He was able to compare the pitch of this
tone with an adjustable tone from a tone generator. The ear's tone turned
out to be a sinetone of 1042 Hz.

Later he was also able to hear the tone by his left ear when he connected
both ears via a thin tube. After that he also recorded the tone by a
microphone in the ear canal of his right ear. Finally a high-level
spontaneous otoacoustic emission (SOAE) at 1042 Hz was established
audiologically. The level was given as +22 dB, but I am not sure how
reliable this figure is. He wrote that where he lives even the best clinic
never had a similar case and does not know how to help him.

The problem is that in recent months he had the impression that the tone had
become louder and louder. It is unkown if there has been an objective
increase in SOAE level, but he perceives the tone as being much louder now.
He has come to a point of desperation now, and he would accept even
destructive surgical measures just to get rid of this tone.

It is known that SOAEs can be suppressed by outside sinetones applied to the
ear. What is the experience with suppressing high-level SOAEs? Is it
possible? If yes, how is it done best, and which equipment would this
patient need?


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
e-mail: nombraun@post.netlink.se
web site: http://hem.netlink.se/~sbe29751/home.htm


Date:    Sun, 4 Aug 2002 05:45:15 -0500
From:    Thomas G Brennan <g_brennantg@TITAN.SFASU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Objective tinnitus due to high-level SOAE

Martin, this will require a specializing audiologist.  The first thing which
will need to be done is that variable tone generation equipment will be
necessary to see if masking can help in this situation.  Being able to alter
signal phase may also be useful.  Generally, single tinal tinnitus does better
with a masker.  If it can be determined that masking can indeed help this
gentleman, a tinnitus masker can be used.  MMM, Starkey, and several other
companies make these.  However, you cannot generally return them after purchase
so it is important to determin usefulness before the fact.  Another issue is
that the frequency of the tone may change with time and there may eventually be
more than a single tone.  This largely depends upon the cause of the problem.
If I was just to guess, I might suspect something viral in a case like this as
an initial start.


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


End of AUDITORY Digest - 1 Aug 2002 to 4 Aug 2002 (#2002-120)

Jont B. Allen,     jba@auditorymodels.org;   908/654-1274voice; 908/789-9575 fax
382 Forest Hill Way
Mountainside NJ 07092

``It is hard to abandon the feeling that the unfamiliar is absurd and illogical.''
       --G.A. Miller, p. 5 of his book `Language and communication'