BEFORE attacking the subject with which this paper is concerned, noises in the ears, it may be wise to discuss for a moment head noises in general, in order to avoid confusion.
The term "tinnitus," meaning a ringing, should—strictly speaking— be reserved for the symptom of ringing in the ears (tinnitus aurium). Using the word in the more general sense, however, as it commonly is used, to comprise all varieties of head noises, one may divide the causes of this symptom into two main classes—extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic or false tinnitus results from disturbances which arise outside the auditory tract, and includes not only extraneous sounds but also the large group of psychogenic disturbances. Intrinsic or true tinnitus is the result of some disturbance within the auditory tract itself.1 The two classes can usually be readily distinguished by certain clinical features: the character of the noise—for instance, the throbbing of
ATKINSON M. TINNITUS AURIUM: Some Considerations Concerning Its Origin and Treatment. Arch Otolaryngol. 1947;45(1):68–76. doi:10.1001/archotol.1947.00690010075006
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