Human Anatomy & Physiology (9th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321743261
ISBN 13: 978-0-32174-326-8

Chapter 15 - The Special Senses - Review Questions - Critical Thinking and Clinical Application Questions - Page 589: 8


Tinnitus is noise of some heard kind by a subject, but the source of the sound is not external. Some descriptions of tinnitus sounds are squeaking, whistling howling, roaring, humming and boomining. In the case of Jan, she just had a huge plug of ear wax removed. If the ear was impacted, it was probably difficult to remove the plug. It is most likely that if the earwax was removed with an instrument, Jan sustained a perforation of the ear drum (tympanic membrane).This could account for the tinnitus that she was experiencing.

Work Step by Step

Tinnitus is noise heard by a subject, but no external source can be identified for the noise or sounds. The noise may be in the form of a whistling, booming, roaring, squeaking, hissing or ringing. Some of the possible causes of tinnitus are impacted acoustic canal, middle ear infection (otitis media), otosclerosis, medication damage to inner ear hair cells, temporomandibular joint(TMJ) arthritis, cardiovascular disease, neck tumor, depression, anxiety. and stress. Perforation or damage of the tympanic membrane is also a common cause of tinnitus. In Jan's case the etiology of her affliction seems to be tympanic membrane injury (probably perforation) sustained during the removal of the plug of earwax from an external auditory meatus.
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