If one disregards the auditory hallucinations occurring in organic diseases of the brain and in the psychoses, there are two kinds of tinnitus: (1) vibratory, caused by actual autogenous vibrations reaching the ear from any part of the body, and (2) nonvibratory, caused by biochemical irritation of the auditory neural mechanism.1 Either of these two kinds of tinnitus may be superimposed on the other, in which case either one with sufficient intensity and proper frequency can diminish or increase the loudness and change the timbre and therefore the degree of annoyance of the other.
It is important to recognize these distinctions, because successful treatment of the disorders causing tinnitus, like successful treatment of the diseases or disorders causing deafness, depends on an understanding of the various factors involved. It is clear that any treatment that claims to be just for tinnitus or deafness is on its face unscientific and that
FOWLER EP. CONTROL OF HEAD NOISESTHEIR ILLUSIONS OF LOUDNESS AND OF TIMBRE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1943;37(3):391–398. doi:10.1001/archotol.1943.00670030401005