Autophony

Hear your own voice

You may have noticed that there is a difference between the way we hear our own voice and the way others hear it. This happens because when we speak, the sound comes out of our mouths and goes up the sides of our faces, hitting our ears directly, making us feel the vibrations inside our ears as well as our head.

What is autophony?

Autophony is the perception that your voice is too loud or echoing in your ears. Autophony also refers to the perception of all other sounds coming from your body, such as breathing or arterial noises.

The main causes of autophony

Typically, autophony results from a middle ear infection, such as tuba beante. Other causes may include eardrum occlusions, serous otitis media, open or patulous Eustachian tube, or Minor's Syndrome.

Serous otitis media

The main symptoms of Otitis media with effusion, also known as serous otitis media, are reduced hearing ability, autophony, clogged ears and tinnitus.

The occlusion effect and blocked ear

Autophony can occur when your ears are blocked by an unventilated hearing aid or an earwax plug, resulting in the vibration of sounds echoing back to the eardrum.

Open or patulous Eustachian tube

Patulous Eustachian Tube is a chronic disturbance of the physiological opening and closing mechanism of the Eustachian tube which causes autophony.

Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS)

Autophony can also be one of the symptoms of the Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS), also known as Minor's Syndrome, a rare medical disorder of the inner ear that creates a condition known as labyrinthitis which can lead to hearing loss and balance issues. Individuals affected by this condition can hear the movement of the eyes or the clacking of their heels.

How to treat autophonia?

Autophonia can be treated in different ways, depending on its severity. Less invasive treatments are applied when the patient has mild symptoms and consist of a few practical tips and actions during the day: 

  • avoid nasal decongestants
  • drinking plenty of water
  • taking hydrochloric acid or chlorobutanol-based drugs 

Autophonia can also occur in a severe form, often with a degenerative course. The recommended treatments, in this case, are more invasive in nature and may find a definitive solution in surgery.

Does autophony go away?

Autophony is not necessarily a sign of a hearing impairment. Unfortunately, it can lead to hearing loss if its root cause is not properly investigated. Generally, autophony is triggered as a result of an infection in the middle ear.

How do you get rid of autophony?

To treat a condition like Autophony, it is necessary to identify its root cause and seek treatment accordingly. Autophony can be treated by seeking treatment for the specific disease that caused it or by removing the occlusion that causes this symptom (phlegm, foreign object, etc.)

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