DISTORTED hearing deserves early recognition and careful evaluation. Diplacusis and poor pitch discrimination frequently produce disturbing emotional reactions in patients unaware of their own defective harmonics. Culpepper1 discovered that a congenital form of diplacusis was the main cause of "off-key" singers. He was able to obtain consistent diplacusis curves in repeated testing of these "tone-deaf" children 10 years of age with normal audiograms.
Musicians are the first ones to recognize malfunction of their finely-tuned ears. Inability to register proper pitch made one vocal soloist stop a performance. This patient had a temporary diplacusis for six weeks following a stapedectomy. An emotional upset of a Catholic sister resulted when she was unable to play her violin without discord or direct a choir harmoniously. An acute cochlear hydrops due to a sudden descent of a jet-airliner resulted in a severe diplacusis of more than one octave in another patient.
Albers GD, Wilson WH. Diplacusis: III. Clinical Diplacusimetry. Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;87(6):607–614. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00760060609011
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