Transient Hearing Loss and Objective Tinnitus Induced by Mouth Opening: A Rare Connection between the Temporomandibular Joint and Middle Ear Space

Hiroshi Hidaka, Yasuko Tatewaki, Maya Sakamoto, Toshimitsu Kobayashi, Yu Yuasa, Ryo Yuasa, Kazuhiro Nomura, Daisuke Yamauchi, Yukio Katori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: To describe objective tinnitus complicated with transient low-tone hearing loss coinciding with mouth opening, which was related to the connection between the mandibular fossa and middle ear space. Patients: A 41-year-old man presented with tinnitus, ear fullness, and hearing loss in the left ear on mouth opening. Main Outcome Measures: Clinical case records, audiological data, and radiological analyses including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Hearing thresholds on the affected side, which were evaluated with mouth opening, showed elevations of approximately 20 dB in the frequencies below 1000 Hz. Again, peak pressure on the tympanogram deviated negatively to -220 mmH 2 O under mouth opening without changing peak amplitude. CT showed a connection between the mandibular fossa and middle ear space, as revealed by a gas collection around the joint capsule evaluated in two phases (with and without mouth closing). Ear symptoms resolved after myringotomy. Conclusions: Although an influence of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) on tinnitus perception has been debated, whether this association is causal or fortuitous has remained contentious. The present case showed a unique feature of tinnitus attributed to a connection between the mandibular fossa and middle ear space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e217-e221
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1

Keywords

  • Objective tinnitus
  • Petrotympanic fissure
  • Temporomandibular joint
  • Tensor tympani
  • Tympanic cavity
  • Tympanic membrane compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

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