Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Aspirin, tinnitus, and OAEs
Otoacoustic emissions (or OAEs) are sounds that your ear makes on its own and as a response to environmental sounds. It appears to be some sort of active resonance or tuning and is different from tinnitus, the ringing sometimes heard in quiet rooms. OAEs provide a non-invasive way of evaluating the health of the ear; OAEs disappear almost immediately upon onset of deafness or death (it was only recently that scientists realized that live ears respond differently from dead ones). Interestingly, aspirin also abolishes OAEs. This is a whole new field of research.