Tensor tympani contraction may have a "signature" audiogram. This study demonstrates audiometric findings during voluntary tensor tympani contraction.
Five volunteers possessing the ability to voluntarily contract their tensor tympani muscles were identified and enrolled. Tensor tympani contraction was confirmed with characteristic tympanometry findings. Study subjects underwent conventional audiometry. Air conduction and bone conduction threshold testing was performed with and without voluntary tensor tympani contraction.
Main outcome measure
Changes in air conduction and bone conduction thresholds during voluntary tensor tympani contraction.
Audiometric results demonstrate a low frequency mixed hearing loss resulting from tensor tympani contraction. Specifically, at 250 Hz, air conduction thresholds increased by 22 dB and bone conduction thresholds increased by 10 dB.
Previous research has demonstrated a low frequency conductive hearing loss in the setting of tensor tympanic contraction. This is the first study to demonstrate a low frequency mixed hearing loss associated with tensor tympani contraction. This finding may aid in the diagnosis of disorders resulting from abnormal tensor tympani function. Tensor tympani contraction should be included on the differential for low frequency mixed hearing loss.