Autophony literally means self hearing. It can involve hearing sounds from within the body, such as creaking joints, chewing noises (particularly with crunchy food), eye movements or blinking, or the stomping of one’s own footsteps travelling up through the body and into the ear. Hearing one’s heartbeat is called pulsatile tinnitus and it is basically a type of autophony as well. The thumping and whooshing noises caused by the sound of the heartbeat pounding and the change in blood flow near the ear constitute pulsatile tinnitus. Diuretics may reduce intracranial pressure and be enough to alleviate these symptoms to a liveable level, but they are less successful with other high-pitched, non-pulsatile types of tinnitus.
Some or all of these sounds may feel as though they are reverberating inside the head, and one’s own voice may be transformed into a noise reminiscent of a broken loud speaker. However, not all SCDS patients experience autophony.