April 1995

Oscillopsia and Vertical Eye Movements in Tullio's Phenomenon

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex (Drs Cohen and Jenkins, Maj Allen, and Ms Congdon), and the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio (Maj Allen).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(4):459-462. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890040079013

Background:  Pure tones stimulated oscillopsia in a 30-year-old man with bilateral hearing loss and Tullio's phenomenon.

Design:  The subject's eye movements were recorded with electro-oculography while he was seated with his head stabilized facing a visual array. Pure tones were given in each ear, individually, from 500 to 2000 Hz, 90 to 110 dB. The subject reported the intensity of oscillopsia, if any, during each trial. He was also tested while standing on a force platform and receiving pure tones.

Results:  No increased postural sway was found, but oscillopsia and vertical eye movements followed stimulation to the more impaired ear.

Conclusions:  These results support the hypothesis that Tullio's phenomenon is caused by inner ear pathology and suggest that oscillopsia is caused by the occurrence of unplanned vertical eye movements, the perceptual consequences of which were unexpected.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:459-462)