Share This

The middle ear muscles can be seen as one of the ear’s safety mechanisms, and the interplay between eyes and ears has been established; think vestibular ocular reflex (VOR) or semi-circular canal dehiscence (SCCD). But can this protective mechanism be influenced by our facial expression? There has been sporadic research over the years - luckily it is ongoing. This very controlled laboratory-based study did show that the more intense the voluntary eye closure, the greater the impact on the middle ear muscles. In other words, out and about, no ear plugs, loud sudden noises - choose to close your eyes, tightly! The study admits the need further research, in order for the data to be for general use. This research could be viewed in the context of potential noise exposure advice but could have reaching influence into hyperacusis and general sound sensitivity research.

Effects of unilateral eye closure on middle ear muscle contractions.
Tasko SM, Deiters KK, Flamme GA, et al.
Share This
Jennifer K Stott

Royal Berkshire, NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

View Full Profile